Thursday, June 20, 2024

Autism Lining Up Toys

Don't Miss

Do Autistic Toddlers Laugh

Why Is My Child Lining Up Toys? Is it Autism?

Children with autism mainly produce one sort of laughter voiced laughter, which has a tonal, song-like quality. This type of laughter is associated with positive emotions in typical controls. In the new study, researchers recorded the laughter of 15 children with autism and 15 typical children aged 8 to 10 years.

Is Putting Things In A Line Ever A Sign Of Autism

It is true that putting objects in a line is one of about 30 commonly accepted signs of autism.

However, singled out by itself, it is almost certainly not an autistic issue.

Autistic children will show multiple signs of autism, not just one.

For the vast majority of children, putting things in a line is a sign of a positional schema. Schemas are behavioral patterns that almost all children demonstrate and are nothing to be concerned about. They are just part of the way children learn.

Using Objects In Unusual Ways

Many children and adults on the spectrum may use objects in ways that are not related to their dedicated purpose, reports A classic sign of this is a toddler spinning the wheels on a toy car rather than pretending to drive the vehicle. However, it can also take the form of collecting household objects, such as coasters or utensils.

Read Also: What Is It Like To Be Autistic Video

What Are Signs Of Mild Autism

Mild Autism Symptoms

  • Problems with back-and-forth communication that may include difficulty with conversation, body language, eye contact, and/or facial expressions.
  • Difficulty in developing and maintaining relationships, often due to difficulty with imaginative play, making friends, or sharing interests.

Could Lining Up Toys Be A Sign Of Autism


You might not think that the way your child lines up their toys is a cause for concern. But some experts believe that this behavior could be an early sign of autism.

While all children develop at different rates, lining up toys is considered to be a milestone that should be reached by age two.

If your child continues to line up their toys well into their preschool years, it could be a sign that they are struggling to socialize and communicate with their peers.

There is nothing wrong with a child falling anywhere on the spectrum. It simply means your little one may need some extra love and care to get them through lifes tough moments- but dont worry!

These kids can often lead normal, fulfilling lives as long as their needs are met appropriately.

While lining up toys is natural and shouldnt cause you to worry if your child has autism, children focusing excessively on the activity may, with additional proof, be a red flag.

Its more about the kids demeanor and temperament when it comes to playing that game than the actual game of lining up toys itself.

For example, most of us do not line up our belongings obsessively or repetitively with little purpose. When we line up shoes near the front door, it is usually to create a sense of order and cleanliness.

We line them up, and then we move away and get on with our day. Most of us do not line the shoes up again and again for hours on end.

Recommended Reading: Why Are Some Autistic Non Verbal

What Is The Main Cause Of Autism

A common question after an autism diagnosis is what is the cause of autism. We know that there’s no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences. These influences appear to increase the risk that a child will develop autism.

Hand And Finger Flapping

Hand flapping is another classic behavioral symptom of ASD, according to WebMD. This flapping can involve moving the whole hand, or even both hands, rapidly in front of the face, or it can be simply a fluttering of the fingers in front of the eyes. Either way, it may help the individual regulate herself when she is overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.

Recommended Reading: What Does A Child With Autism Look Like

Can A Child Have Signs Of Autism But Not Be Autistic

Those suffering from Asperger syndrome display symptoms that are milder compared to autistic disorder. These patients encounter social challenges along with unusual interests and behavior, but they do not display intellectual disability or difficulties with language. This type is often abbreviated as PDD-NOS.

Repetitive Behaviors In Autistic Children

Ask an Autism Expert- Lining Up Toys

Positioning objects is a type of repetitive behavior, so lets just have a look at some other repeating behaviors that you will regularly see in autistic children.

Hopefully, this will help you see how lining up objects is only a very small part of autistic behaviors.

These repetitive behaviors in autistic children include:

  • Echolalia which is repeating words or phrases over and over again
  • They can get distressed by changes in routines or environment, however minor
  • They have strong and obsessive interests
  • Stimming which can manifest often as hand flapping, spinning, or rocking back and forth
  • Plays with the same objects and in the same way repeatedly
  • Often children are interested in just one part of a toy, for example, the steering wheel of a car
  • Line up objects or toys

Recommended Reading: Who Can Diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder

They Are Simply Having Fun

Finally, some children may simply find it entertaining to play with their toys differently than usualby arranging them into long lines or patterns that they can admire or manipulate in various ways.

Whatever the reason, the act of lining up toys is often seen as an enjoyable pastime that helps develop creativity and spatial awareness in young minds.

Regardless of the motivation behind it, lining up toys is an activity that provides many benefits to both children and parents alike!

When Does Lining Up Toys Become Troublesome

When it is the ONLY way that your child interacts with those toys, or with any toys. And when you try to expand their play as above, they just about losetheirlunch because it is all about rigid routines, not object exploration. If your child is on the spectrum, that line of cars is part of their environmental adaptation plan for security and stability its not actually PLAY at all. There isnt a sense of playfulness about changing things around when it is a matter of bringing order to a system that struggles with feeling safe. If your child is clearly not using these objects for imaginative play by 3, then you should explore a developmental evaluation so that you understand what is going on.

A lack of developmentally-appropriate play skills is certainly a concern to a child development specialist, but it still doesnt translate into autism.

Here are a few of the behaviors in 1-3 year-olds that concern me much more than lining up toys:

  • little or no eye contact when requesting something from you. They look at the object or the container, not at you.
  • no response when her name is called, or not looking toward a specific person when the name of a family member is mentioned.
  • using an adults hand as a tool to obtain objects rather than gesturing, pointing or making eye contact to engage an adult for assistance.
  • a non-verbal toddler that doesnt use gestures such as pointing or babbling to communicate needs or desires.

Recommended Reading: How To Talk To Autistic Adults

How Autistic Play Is Different

Kids with autism play differently from other kids. From a very young age, they are likely to line objects up, play by themselves, and repeat actions over and over. They’re also less likely to engage in games that require “make-believe,” collaboration, or social communication.

Of course, many children without autism line up objects, play alone, or choose other activities over make-believe. But children with autism are apparently unaware of others’ activities and preferences. Typically-developing children imitate their peers to learn new play skills, collaborate with others, and ask questions when they’re confused.

Typically-developing children who play alone generally do so for a reason. They are capable of joining in when they’re ready or encouraged to do so.

Children with autism may seem unaware of other children. They may appear to be unable to learn new play skills through observation or communication.

Here are some differences to watch for:

Early Signs Of Autism In A 2 Year Old

My Aspergers Child: Aspergerâs Kids and Problems with Disruption of Routine

If you feel like your 2-year-old doesnt seem to be catching up with their development milestones, you may start looking for certain signs of autism spectrum disorder for any delays.Mild symptoms can be mistaken for being shy or the terrible twos.

Here are some red flags that may indicate ASD:

  • Doesnt speak more than 15 words,
  • Cant walk ,
  • Doesnt know functions of household items like fork,
  • Doesnt imitate parents actions or words,
  • Doesnt use items for their own purposes,
  • Doesnt follow simple instructions

You May Like: How To Know If You Are On Autism Spectrum

How You Can Advance Your Childs Language Beyond Echolalia

Although research has found that echolalia is part of normal childhood development and a big part of learning communication, you still need to understand how your child is trying to talk to you. By doing so, you can focus on ways to help your child expand their communication skills.

Family plays a big role in overcoming echolalia and helping children to talk themselves . If youre concerned about the echolalia, reach out to a speech pathologist to find out how functional the echolalia is. With functional echolalia, you can make changes to how you talk to your child to help them speak and communicate better.

Make sure to use evidence-based methods that are geared to your childs age to see progress. What can you do? Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of asking questions, make a statement. Dont ask them if they want to go to the movies just tell them, Were going to the movies.
  • Teach I dont know to your child, so they know they can use it when they dont have an answer to a question.
  • Start a sentence and allow them to finish it. For example, say, I would like some ____ and allow them to give you the answer of what theyd like.

Every parent worries that there will be something wrong with their child, including autism. However, a child with echolalia does not mean they are autistic. Echolalia is common as children experiment with language and most children advance their speech and get past the echolalic stage, which usually ends around the age of three.

What Are Signs Of Autism In A 2 Year Old

What Are the Signs of Autism in a 2 to 3 Year-Old?

  • may not be able to speak,
  • use items differently, like lining up the toys instead of playing with them,
  • have limited speech,
  • struggle to follow simple instructions,
  • have limited inventory of sounds, words, and gestures,
  • are not interested in playing with others,

Read Also: Why Does Autism Affect The Brain

Lining Things Up In Autistic Play: Pathologizing Human Behaviour

When we challenge the medical model of autism we often use the word pathologizing. Pathologizing means to describe something as psychologically abnormal. Almost everything an Autistic person does is pathologized by medical professionals. They say that we communicate abnormally, we feel abnormally , we lack normal empathy, that we move abnormally, think abnormally, show affection abnormally and play abnormally by lining things up. Basically everything we do is wrong.

Ive written already about how the medical model and the diagnostic criteria pathologizes normal human behaviour.Now Id like to take a closer look at some of this in greater detail. Today I will focus on the way Autistic children play.

What Does It Mean When Autistic Kids Line Things Up

Autism and lining up toys

Autism is a complex disorder with many symptoms. Children with autism might have most or all of the symptoms, and will have them in varying degrees. A penchant for order and sameness, repetitive behavior and narrowly focused interests are some of the hallmarks of autism. Depending on the child, these characteristics can be mild, moderate or quite severe.

Recommended Reading: Does Freddie Highmore Have Autism

How To Know If Your Toddler Has Autism

About half of all children in the United States with an autistic spectrum disorder are diagnosed at age five or older according to a May 2012, NCHS data brief. However, many parents are suspicious much sooner. As part of autism awareness month, we bring you clues in toddler development that can alert you to a potential issue.

Pediatricians often use a questionnaire called the M-CHAT as a screening tool. This test can be . In our office, we administer the M-CHAT at the 18-month well-child visit and again at the two-year well visit, but the test is valid down to 16 months and in kids as old as 30 months. Not every child who fails this test has autism, but the screening helps us to identify which child needs further evaluation.

At 15-18 months of age, children should show the beginnings of pretend play. For example, if you give your child a toy car, the toddler should pretend to drive the car on a road, make appropriate car noises, or maybe even narrate the action: Up, up, up, down, down, rrrroooom! Younger babies mouth the car, spin the wheels, hold it in different positions, or drag a car upside down, but by 18 months, they perceive a car is a car and make it act accordingly. Other examples of pretend play are when a toddler uses an empty spoon and pretends to feed his dad, or takes the T.V. remote and then holds it like a phone and says hello? You may also see him take a baby doll, tuck baby into bed, and cover her with a blanket.

Lining Things Up Is Inappropriate When Youre Autistic

Apparently lining things up is a strange thing to do. But isnt lining things a very human thing to do?

Are the writers of such diagnostics saying it is inappropriate for schools to line up desks in their classrooms? And what about the teacher who takes this even further and expects her pupils to line up in single file when leaving the classroom? What about the teacher who insists his pupils draw a margin? Is there any hope for him? And how about the tutor who insists their pupils buy copy books with horizontal lines in them and commands that they write in straight lines on these straight lines? What is to become of these people? Are they obsessed with mindless lines that have no apparent purpose? Should they form an orderly queue down the street, a street marked out with white lines, to the psychiatrists office? An office where they will be asked to complete a form consisting of rows of text in straight lines

And what about our architects and town planners? Why are they left loose around our towns and cities putting houses in straight rows? Dont they realise how psychologically abnormal this behaviour is? I mean its in the DSM so it has to be a real condition or a symptom of it, right? What about their clients who buy these houses? Experts have also observed a deviation from straight lines in favour of curved lines or spirals amongst this sample group. They are currently working on an intervention for this sort of behaviour.

Read Also: How To Treat Yeast With Autism

Active Body Active Mind

My rituals were repetitive, but my thoughts werent confined to the rituals. Instead, while I repeated familiar activities, I let my mind wander. I pondered the nature of the universe, processed events in my life, and imagined alternate realities.

Here are some of the things I remember thinking about:

  • Mentally preparing myself for moving house
  • Imagining an intricate world in which houses are on stilts and people travel by canoe
  • Determining why the sky is darker on top and lighter near the horizon
  • The story I was writing

So when you see an autistic kid engaging in repetitive behavior, instead of thinking that kid is doing nothing, think that kids brain is hard at work. They may be imagining something, reviewing something that happened, or trying to figure out the answer to a question.

Is lining up toys productive? Not really.

But are the thoughts in your kids head productive? Probably.

Repetitive actions are often correlated with the mind being deep in thought. And thats a good thing.

Why Do Toddlers Almost Obsessively Organize

Why Do Toddlers Sort &  Line Up Toys? Experts Weigh In

In the time that it took for me to walk to the living room to fetch my 2-year-old’s water bottle that he stashed under the seat cushions, I returned to what looked like a police lineup in the kitchen. Our marble counters were full of his stuffed animals, lined up, facing out, each one placed shoulder to shoulder with the others.

Proud of himself, he then proceeded to remove all of the toys and replace them on our dining room table until he was finished and started the process all over again. This occupied his time for the better part of 30 minutes.

It wasn’t the first, nor the last time, that he has displayed a fervent desire to organize. He’s meticulously placed all of his Thomas trains in a row and he’s sorted different types of fruit . Despite my gut feeling that this is entirely normal behavior for a toddler, the internet would have me believe otherwise. You can’t research this action without running into thousands of articles from concerned parents about the possibility of autism or obsessive compulsive disorder.

Embedded between articles stating emphatically that this is a clear sign of autism are people downplaying it as totally normal behavior. Determining the truth can be tricky and, as a parent, not entirely comforting.

Determining the truth can be tricky and, as a parent, not entirely comforting.

Organizing and sorting are important since they are foundational math skills

Read Also: Can You Develop Autism As An Adult

More articles

Popular Articles