It can be a challenge to stay engaged with my son when he has limited interests and prefers to be alone. However, I have found if I take the time to study what captures his attention, then I can enter his world.
This weekend was one of those times that I entered his world. I had an activity planned and I was not sure how it would play out. I was pleasantly surprised at how it evolved. Tristan loves YouTube preschool videos. So I decided to try and mimic one type of video that he enjoys watching. One of his favorites categories is simply watching a person open easter eggs and pulling out objects. There are many variations to these types of videos. Some emphasize colors, letters, numbers, and other themes.
To prepare, I bought small animal objects to put inside easter eggs. I thought he would like opening the eggs. Also, I wanted to have him find the animal on his communication device. However, I soon discovered he wanted to talk about the colors! He was very engaged. He wanted to use his device to tell me the color of the egg and the color of the animal. Then when we were done with two dozen animals he wanted me to ask him all the color questions I could think of. Color of objects that were in the room. Colors of objects outside…etc. I know he was asking for more questions by the subtle look on his face. Non-verbal children do communicate in their own way!
The neat thing was that he must have enjoyed this activity because the next day he went back to the box where the eggs were kept. Tristan wanted to repeat this activity! Since he is in the toddler development stage he thrives on repetition.
How have you been able to connect to your son or daughter by entering their world?