Other general strategies
Invest time in special interests: Get involved with your child’s special interests or find extracurricular activities/groups they can attend. They may love cooking, music or art or they may love collecting specific items or building and creating. Try allocating time in the day in which you can engage with these activities. In doing so, you begin to associate yourself with things that they love and enjoy and they can continue to expand on their special interests which could turn into hobbies.
Create own structure through having choice: By providing choice for your child, they will feel they have some autonomy. You could offer simple options about an activity such as whether they want to do an activity now or later. You can also offer choice within an activity such as whether they want to go on the slide or on the swing. In providing choice, you highlight potential structure which in turn supports your child in anticipating when activities will occur.
By also providing alternatives, you are presenting them with options which they may not have chosen independently.
Spend time with friends or visiting places that they enjoy – schedule in some time where you and your child can be with significant people in their lives. Find activities that they may be able to engage in with their peers or schedule in some time to do activities or visit places they are familiar with and enjoy.
Rule out medical needs: If you have started to observe new, unexpected or an increase in behaviours in your child (e.g. more self-injurious behaviour or the sudden onset of tics) rule out any medical conditions. Keep a log of when the behaviours occur (see ABC above) so that you can speak to a medical professional, they can advise you.
Seek professional help: GP, SENDCo, clinical psychologist, social worker. Organisations available: CAMHS, Young Minds, The Children’s Society.