In preschool, the social use of language becomes more important. Children go from playing in parallel to playing together, and this can be a challenge for a lot of kids on the spectrum. Try some of these ideas when working with preschoolers on the spectrum:
Insert yourself in the child's play by taking a turn every now and then. For instance, if the child is playing with a car ramp, take the car from him or her and put it down the ramp. Then encourage the child to say "my turn" to get the car back.
Further encourage turn-taking by using a game the child especially enjoys. Many children on the spectrum are highly visual, so a game like "Memory" may be a favorite. Taking turns in a game like this will help the child prepare for conversational turn-taking.
Practice phrases and strategies the child may use to interact with peers. This may include commenting on a shared activity, such as playing with blocks or using the sensory table at school.
Model common pretend play games that preschoolers enjoy, using age-appropriate language skills. Examples include playing house, playing restaurant, playing grocery store, and pretending to be a doctor or veterinarian. If the child is familiar with these routines and the associated language, he or she will be more successful with peers.
Practice shared attention skills with games like "I Spy." To do this, stare at something obvious, and have the child guess what you're looking at. This will help the child with conversational perspective-taking.