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Practicing Different Roles During Play

Susan Hendler Lederer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

January 2, 2012

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Question

How should I approach a child who enjoys directing play but is not as flexible accepting other children’s ideas.  The child has normal language development and no ASD identified.  

Answer

We know that we have children who are ‘leader types’ and those who are more ‘follower types.’ That's typical of all children and this particular child really has to be assigned to a different role. So, there is this whole idea of “practicing.”  We have to practice at different roles.  If you're going to play restaurant, sometimes you get to be the cashier and sometimes you get to be the customer, and sometimes you have to be in the back making the food.  So, it is an opportunity for children to learn what it is like to take other people's perspective.  It is a good life lesson for this particular child, too.

Susan Hendler Lederer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Adelphi University, Garden City, Long Island, NY. She has is 30 years of professional experience in the areas of language, literacy, and pretend play development and disorders. In addition, Dr. Lederer is the author of three children’s books designed to facilitate emerging language, literacy, and pretend play (I Can Say That, I Can Do That, & I Can Play That).

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