It is Sunday August the 4th, a summer day not too hot. Children are outside in a child appropriate play yard. Large play structure, swings, covered grass (fake) area. Clean, well organized, misters and shaded covers keep children cool. Its afternoon so most of the children have gone home. A mixed age group remains playing. About twelve kids and at least 5 adults are outside. The child I am observing is six and a half years old, turning seven at the beginning of next year. She is wearing a pink summer dress with white sandals.
She is very cute, with brown curly hair. Her name is Tibia. Tibia is playing on the fake grass in the shade. She is looking up at the shade covering and swinging her feet slightly as she lies down. Several children are nearby but Tibia does not glance at them. The children next to her Jump up and run to the climbing structure. She then gets up and looks around gazing at the play area but not at the children around her. Tibia walks slowly by the climbing structure, then he begins to almost run back and forth behind the climbing structure in the shaded area.
She does not seem happy or to display much of any feelings. She looks a little lost, or inattentive. She walks over to several boys following them to where two adults are talking. The boys are talking to each other and Tibia starts talking to them. She is Just far enough away that the boys do not know sh...
e is talking to them. Tibia looks to the side and continues talking. They walk over to an adult and start engaging with the adult. Tibia watches but does not Join in. Tibia wanders back to the swings and does a few twirls.
She has a rather flat affect and does not seem to be looking at anyone. Tibia gets on a swing and without her asking her mom pulls her back and gives her a push. Tibia lights up and she starts talking to her mom. She pumps her feet at her mom’s request. Her hair flies back and Tibia has a big smile. Tibia asks to be pushed again and she laughs when her mom pulls her swing back. She swings for several minutes. Tibia gets of the swing and stands near the swing for several minutes. She again appears not sad or unhappy Just rather lost.
She walks over to the shaded area and watches several girls who are actively playing with several very small baby dolls. Tibia stands very close by as if she is playing. She imitates several of their movements around the area but does not talk or engage with the girls. Soon all the girls run to the slides, Tibia follows them and engage one of them in conversation. I couldn’t make what they were saying but they looked like they understood each other. The environment is very calm and child friendly. The there parent’s seem attentive and available.
Tabby used the swings and shaded area. She did not play with objects
or toys. Tibia did not ride the bikes; she did not climb on the climbing structure. She laughed and talked to her mom while swinging. Tibia did not seem fully engaged with her surrounding and had a lot of random movements. Tibia is average size for being almost six. She moved around the yard with ease but not with speed or confidence. She did swing with glee but did not run or climb. Tabby seemed disconnected and did not look for others to play with until it as almost time to go.
She attempted to talk with peers on one occasion but did not talk loud enough or close enough to her peers. Tibia seemed to display mostly a flat affect. She appeared relaxed but not engaged. She talked to herself on several occasions. It was difficult to get a language sample because she did not talk enough. Tibia seemed aware of her peers but did not attempt to engage with them with the exception of the girl on the slide. She often moved away from children. She did not seek out adults to engage with, except her mom. Tibia laughed and appeared pappy when she was pushed on the swing.
When her mom stopped pushing her she did not seek her out to be pushed again. Tabby did not directly imitate her peers play, although she did play near other children. She did not give others direct eye contact and did not talk directly to anyone with the exception of that one little girl on the slide. I wonder what it was about that girl that attracted Tibia towards her. Why did she open up to her and not the other kids? Whatever it was they played together until it was time to leave. By the way Tibia is my daughter…
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