More children with autism and obsessions

More Children With Autism and Obsessions

Children with autism and obsessions

In my last blog, I described my son’s new obsession—dogs.

I gave a script to my dog on how to ask a dog owner if it was okay to pet a strange dog. And, the obsession was well on its way.

How did the obsession grow?

It grew when my son began to request to go to places where he could meet dogs. He would ask to cross a street if he spotted a dog, or he would run across a soccer field to meet a dog.

This obsession was now entrenched.

Why is this new obsession such a good thing?

I love this new obsession.

First, my son now has a real love for dogs. I have had dogs most of my life. I’m an animal lover and is that ever a bad thing?

He has learned to be kind to animals and curious about them so much so that he seeks them out.

And, he has strengthened his personal bond with his own dog.

But, that’s not all of it.

This obsession has allowed my son to consistently get practice with an important social skill—appropriately talking to strangers, in this case, dog owners.

The way it is

My son now confidently approaches a dog owner, asks appropriate questions (he has plenty of questions now), and has a conversation.

He’s an autism kid practicing communication. He’s practicing listening and social cues.

More children with autism and obsessions

Has it always been positive?

It took a while for him to catch on.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my son wasn’t always listening when a dog owner said “no.” Once or twice we even encounter a nasty person.

There was no doubt a learning curve. But, he improved and now has confidence. I no longer need to stand by and monitor/intervene.

My son is now a dog lover and he’s approaching like-minded people, one dog lover to another dog lover (I assume most people who own dogs are therefore dog lovers on some level). And, he’s socializing.

He now takes great enjoyment petting the dog, and then talking about the dog.

This a skill he can maintain his entire life. It’s positive and healthy.

Which is why I love this new obsession.

So, what did I do to celebrate—I added “feeding the dog” to his list of chores! He does it with a smile (that is, until the next obsession comes along).

To read even more about autistic-related obsessions, read here:

More on Kimberly Kaplan:

Go to to purchase “Two Years of Autism Blogs Featured on” or Amazon Kindle ebook “A Parents’ Guide to Early
Autism Intervention”
Twitter: @tipsautismmom




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