Imaginary Friends of Children with ASD
Research on this level reveals that playing with imaginary friends helps children learn essential social skills, such as empathy, and helps them also to develop emotionally.
Imaginary friends are part of a normal stage in children’s development. According to a study from 2004, by the age of 7, 65% of children have an imaginary friend. Children develop these imaginary friends of theirs between 3 and 11 years old. At the moment, we don’t really know why they create these characters, or why some of them do it, and others don’t.
In studies conducted so far on this topic, researchers have validated that children with ASD also have the ability to create and play with imaginary friends. In this case, if the presence of imaginary friends in children with ASD brings the same benefits on a social level as it does in children with typical development, there is the possibility to create new ways of therapeutic approach based on imagination.