The insistence on routine and sameness interferes with the Asperger’s Disorder child’s play. Not all Asperger’s Disorder children engage in repetitive play patterns, but for those who do, it can be very disruptive in play. Play for most children is free-flowing with a give and take between playmates where they each play off the other’s contribution.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of play is the unpredictability and uniqueness that playmates bring to the play. The Asperger’s Disorder child, however, is disturbed by the free flow of play. She has a set routine in her mind for her play and becomes frustrated when someone attempts to disrupt it. The more rigid and insistent the child is that the play goes exactly as she wants it the more social rejection she will experience.
The Asperger’s Disorder child who sticks to a rigid play routine also misses out on the joy of solitary play. Even when children play by themselves, their play is still free flowing, imaginative, and fun. The Asperger’s Disorder child’s play in contrast tends to be routine and predictable and to the outside observer appears to be more of a task than play.