if your child is on the spectrum then his way of playing will usually involve re-enacting things he has seen on video games, TV or DVDs. I am not saying that he has no imagination, as some on the spectrum do have some imagination. But most children, including my own son, are re-enacting the words, moves, storyline they have already heard. He may begin to be able to use his imagination to alter the storylines or it may be a literal re-run of what he has experienced. Would he let you join in with him? If so you could use it to improve his social interaction skills. You may find that he tries to control what you say and do so that you too playout what he has already seen or heard, but he may allow you to make some changes which is a positive thing.
You could try to introduce some new games or new areas of play so that his play is not so rigid or repetitive. But my own son can spend hours re-running DVDs in his head and saying the dialogue and acting out the various roles. With limited imagination that is the only way they can 'play'. At school you may find it helpful if school allows your son to choose what he will do at playtime (out of the choice of two things), and with whom he will do that (out of a choice of two classmates who have already agreed to play with your son). Of course that will depend on his abilities, but with that kind of support my son has slowly been able to broaden his play activities and improve his social interaction with other children in his class. But it needs to be highly structured, and must be observed and overseen by a teaching assistant to make sure all goes well.
I know it can be a bit disturbing to see them play so rigidly, but it is a good sign that he wants to play. You can use this as a motivator to improve his social play skills if his school has the experience and expertise to use this.
thanks for your insight I have tried to get him into other things they stick for a little while but the zelda seems to be his main focus no matter how i try to encourage him to get interested in other things plus i tried to get him to play soft ball but he did not care for it at all. my husband family thinks i'm over reacting to my son's obession of zelda and thinks he a normal kid ( i want him to be normal to but when health professional says they feel they his behavior is odd and to get him tested I just think we should listen to their advice.) I have tried to explain to his family about our son's odd behavior and all they say is he all right your just looking for problems but i'm not. I try really hard to set up play dates too but they always seem not to work cause of personality clashes he some times has with kids his own age they just dont seem to understand where he is coming from , and i have to explain it.
but I also hear this alot to he is an only child and that is why he acts the way he does but i know other only kids and they dont act this way and i work really hard to keep involed in actives, I'm always finding events to take him to meet other kids, he is involed at his church he goes wed. and sun. they just make me feel that i dont try hard enough but i know i do. sorry dont mean to vent.
I always have to keep him happy it seems just the smallest things upset him like today I took him to his asthma doc. cause he had a bad cough and the doc told him that he had a virus and he started to cry and the list can go on , i always feel like a cheerleader lol
If he is on the spectrum, the trick, if you can manage it is to expand through his interests. I don't know about Zelda, but if you can use his interest in that game to expand his interest and knowledge through extending the boundaries of Zelda. For example, my son likes knights and soldier fighting games. So I bought him those dressing up clothes, and when kids come round he can play knights or solidier games with them. This has led to an interest in martial arts and he is to begin going to a club to learn how to fight like the professionals do. So, look at Zelda and see how you can extend that into other areas of interest. That way you are using his interest in Zelda to motivate him. If you just try to get him involved in something totally unrelated he won't be interested/focused/or motivated to do it.
Also, some may recommend limiting the time they spend on their obsessions. I don't, because it then means you are limiting the one thing they like and are good at. Try to extend from it if you can.