A Birthday Party
Dr. Smith explains the subtle differences evident when an examiner invites a typically developing child and a child on the spectrum to engage in a pretend birthday party. Whereas the typically developing child is receptive to the examiner's cues, demonstrating an interest and familiarity with the routine of a birthday party, the child with autism appears detached from the examiner, unresponsive to her cues and unable to follow the theme of the play.
"Tommy is not fully engaged in the act of imitating a birthday party. He's not picking up on these pretend cues..."
— Christopher Smith, PhD