M. wanted to dress up in one of my dresses again. This is something she has spontaneously initiated (by fetching a dress from the wardrobe) about four times in total, all in the last few months. I'm really pleased about it because although most children start wanting to dress up at an earlier age, she has (eventually) discovered it spontaneously by herself. It makes me think of the old days when we tried to 'train' her to do pretend play 'properly' using ABA therapy - I think now that was misguided. A child will certainly 'perform' pretend play mechanically for a reward if the reward is sufficiently motivating but it doesn't mean that they fundamentally see the point in it. Coming to pretend play naturally and spontaneously (in their own time frame) is so much better.
So I encouraged the dressing up in an II context: we did a running (sung commentary) by singing 'M.'s wearing a dress', we used the mirrors in the sensory room to look at the dress and exchange eye contact/ facial expressions and we talked about the dress. She wore it for about 20 minutes in total and we had some really good interaction together in the sensory room all around the theme of the dress. I can't wait for her to open her Christmas presents because she's got several dressing up outfits - am hoping this will lead to more opportunities for great interaction!