I saw a post by autistic adult who was saying how she doesn’t like that lining things up is referred to as “inappropriate play.” Now, I’ve seen it referred to as one of the signs, but I thought inappropriate play was things like my girl preferring to piece up stones and walk around with them then dump on the floor for me to stand on. The inappropriate part being me falling victim to the stones! I think maybe I’m naive. I viewed that as quirky and cute.
Lining up? Or stacking things up to make a tower of food or toys like my girl? Lining shoes and cars up like my son did? I thought it was CUTE! And it helped me add to my “I know my son/daughter is autistic, what do you think, Dr Professional Whose Diagnosis We Need Because Though We Know It, Nobody Will Take Us Seriously Until YOU Confirm It.”
It’s not inappropriate at all. This pathologises a lot of people. It’s saying that the lining up and/stacking up needs to be corrected and stopped. No way! That’s a form of order! My boy would line up all his shoes and his brothers shoes and add his cars in the row. It was AWESOME! And we knew exactly where all the shoes were. It’s a win! Why would I have wanted to change that?
Nah. Some labels are off. I just saw one article saying that playing with only one part of a toy is inappropriate. Or manipulating it in a way it was not designed… My son’s spinning of car wheels instead of pushing them along the floor is viewed as inappropriate. I view it as different or unusual. I never thought to stop him, reward him with something edible, as suggested in the article if he copies me and pushes the car along floor. As long as he is happy, not hurting anyone and is not breaking the toy, what he does will be appropriate. And that is that!
Not all autistic behaviours are negative.