The above photos are all examples of “line ups” that are currently going on in my house this afternoon. I assume most of my Autism mom friends recognize this. I am not sure WHY he does it really. I only know that he does…..all of the time. Mostly with DVDs and blocks but as you can see books too and of course laundry baskets are not off limits. It seems most people think is has to do with control and order in their otherwise chaotic world.
“Lining up toys or other objects provides a sense of order and control in a world that is often difficult for these children to understand and navigate.”
“Lining up toys and other objects is one way in which autistic children exert control over their environment”
“Control. Lining things up is about control and order. It’s a way to reorganize the world in a way that makes sense. It reduces anxiety.”
“Lining up toys is helping him organize in his mind.
I wish I knew why for sure. Does he like doing it? Does he feel better having things lined up? Does it give him a sense of control? To be honest sometimes the line ups make me laugh. But mostly they make me sad. He can’t really WANT to do this can he? I just want him to WANT to play. Honest to goodness play. Make believe play. Stacking blocks, throw a ball, fly a kite, build a fort FOR REAL play.
But he doesn’t.
SO we line things up – and try to keep the puppy from messing up the line ups and we take joy in those break through playful moments when they happen.