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Imagination, cooperation, and children with high functioning autism
Here is a fun, challenging activity to promote group cooperation skills. It is derived from an idea I found in a book years ago (see next page). I have provided you with print-outs to help structure the activity. This activity works well for ages 7 and up.
Many children have very rich lives of imagination. Children with ASD’s often have involved fantasy worlds – worlds they mainly keep to themselves. The Groupworld activity is designed to make imagination more interactive by having children work together to invent a world of their own together.
Here is some language you may consider using to introduce the activity:
“We are doing The Groupworld activity. You all have great imaginations, but you are used to using your imagination all by yourself. In the Groupworld activity, you will have to combine your ideas with the other people here to make a world that has not just your own ideas in it, but everybody else’s ideas as well.
This will be fun, but it will also be hard. People naturally like their own ideas. It takes effort, and practice, to mix your ideas with other people’s ideas and not get into arguments.”
This activity is derived from an idea I found in Relationship Development Intervention with Children, Adolescents and Adults, by Gutstein and Sheely.
I hope you enjoy this social skills activity.
~ Joel Shaul, LCSW