For Immediate News Release:
The parents of Nathan and Eric are cautiously pleased to announce that cooperative play has officially begun in their home. The most recent example of this extraordinary behaviour was observed this morning in the living room. Nathan was observed to drive a toy tractor and baler through a field that has been recently combined by Eric. Nathan requested direction of Eric saying “Is this field ready to be baled, Eric?” To which Eric responded “Yup, go ahead, Nathan.”
While cooperative play is not news in most households, it is an incredible development for this family. Nathan was first diagnosed with a gross developmental delay at the age of 2.5 and it was unclear at that time if he would ever reach this important stage. Nathan was diagnosed with Autism at 5 and doctors offered little hope that Nathan would ever learn to play like other children.
Fortunately, Nathan’s parents have refused to accept that dark outcome and have sought multiple therapies and alternative treatments for their son. They spend numerous hours helping him learn the basics like ABCs, dressing, self-care and simple chores. Nathan’s mother describes teaching him about how to “play with” someone.
“I had to sit him down on the floor and roll a ball to him and then verbally encourage him to roll it back. His father or therapist would have to put their hands over top of Nathan’s hands and physically show him how to do the task. We would do this 20 or 30 times each time. At the beginning, he could only roll the ball back independently the last 2 or 3 times.”
Nathan’s parents insist that they can’t take credit for this amazing development. Nathan’s father: “Eric has dragged Nathan through every development stage, from potty training to using a fork independently and is now Nathan’s best teacher. The amazing thing is that Eric is only 4 and has no idea how instrumental he has been to Nathan’s success. He simply wants a friend and says Nathan is his best friend.”
While cooperative play is still in its infancy in this household, there is hope that it will continue and thrive here. More importantly, this development has brought new hope of further age-appropriate development. Perhaps Nathan’s mother sums it up best “It is hope for Nathan that has kept us struggling everyday and to see another prayer answered and playing in your living room gives us the strength to continue through the next dark stage.”