Turn-Taking Play Strategies

This may start out like an imitation strategy, but the adult might do something slightly different. When the child is beginning to pause and notice what the adult is doing, it’s time to try this.

Turns do not always look the same.

Hand Games:

These games can include other parts of the body, but we’d like to bring the focus around to hands, at some point, if possible. Teachers and students use their hands for a large number of tasks that are done at school. Students need to develop an interest in the activities of the hands of other people so that they can learn what the hands have to teach them. This starts with non-aversive interaction surrounding the hands.

In the video below, the teacher and the student both make minute movements with their hands. The movements that they make are different.

Object Games:

Some children reject objects, especially when introduced using hand-over-hand. Objects may need to be reintroduced in non-controlling, non-aversive ways in low-demand interactions.

In the video below, the student signals the teacher to take her turn by slightly moving the whistle at the beginning of the interaction, then signals her by putting her hand on the whistle. The teacher remains in contact with the student so that she is there to take her turn.


Auditory Games:

Sometimes a student may engage by making sounds with their mouths or with other parts of their body, such as stomping or clapping. We start by imitating them, but then may introduce some variation into our auditory play. We may also add any of these as fun breaks within a routine to help re-engage the student and reconnect if they have become distracted.

In the video below, the teacher re-engages the student in the hygiene routine by imitating her vocalizations.

Share Activities:

Children who have sensory deficits do not have access to the same information as their same age peers, for example, they may not know that other people, eat, brush their teach, etc. Children without sensory deficits have ample opportunities to observe activities multiple times before they are ever expected to participate. Before you expect a child to participate in an activity, show them how you do it!

In the video below, the teacher brushes her teeth while the student watches with his hands. She then brushes his teeth with the Nuk brush.