Play is important. Play helps with physical development, fosters creativity, and even social development. A recent study focused on integrated play groups that focused on peer directed groups, rather than adult directed groups. The study showed that autistic children do far better with peers, and promotes pretend play, interactions, and collaboration. The study mentioned a child who liked to make things explode and go bang. His peers built structures that he could demolish. The child was able to participate with his peers, and his peers facilitated a way to included him in their games.
Some ideas for creating an integrated play group—Invite children over for play dates and create activities you know the children would like such as a scavenger hunt, board games, tag, legos etc. PlayAbility provides toys and games that could easily be played with peers such as the Whole Pictures games. This game allows for discussion, and is a fun way to interact and collaborate to complete the puzzle.