As the weather turns warmer and the days get longer, outside play time is more appealing than ever. Kids with autism benefit from active play as they get a chance to practice important motor skills after a winter spent indoors.
Many of the same activities you enjoyed as a kid can be enjoyed by a child or young adult with autism with some minor modifications to enhance safety and support special needs.
Extra precautions may need to be taken in public spaces, or enjoy these springtime activities in your own safely fenced in backyard. Outdoor activity supports overall wellness and is an important component of treatment for autism in Little Rock
Create an Obstacle Course
Climbing, balancing and navigating a path all help build agility and give your child a sense of accomplishment. You don’t need to leave home to create an obstacle course – you can do so in your own backyard with inexpensive elements like stepping stones, jump ropes (laid out on the ground) and other household items. Allow your child to navigate the course or set it up all on their own.
Visit the Playground
A sunny Saturday afternoon is not the best time to head to the park – the other kids and families could make it an overwhelming experience for a child with autism. Scope out the park and determine if getting there earlier in the day will give you a friendlier experience, then enjoy all your local playground has to offer.
Explore a nature path together at your child’s own pace. If you are used to rushing from one task to the next, the more relaxed pace of a child with sensory interests could make a short hike a whole new experience for you both. Being outdoors and the skills that come from navigating uneven terrain is ideal for developing important motor skills too.
Aqua Therapy Play
A sensory bin filled with water beads and water toys is a great way to stay cool and an ideal outdoor activity. Add marbles, favorite plastic toys and other items to give your child a fun sensory experience to explore outdoors.
Beans, rice and other ingredients give children and teens with autism the chance to explore sensory play, but they can get a little messy indoors. Take advantage of the spring sunshine and setup a table outdoors instead. Your child will get all the benefits of sensory play without the mess.
Your patio or walkway can become a blank canvas for your budding artist. Offer a variety of chalks in different forms (kids with sensory issues might like a plastic holder for the chalk itself) and practice drawing favorite characters, family members, animals and more. This activity supports creativity and fine motor skills and can be done anywhere you have a safe bit of pavement.
Choosing a variety of activities allows your child to enjoy the outdoors and supports the development of motor skills, too. Whether you are transition planning for youth with disabilities or simply working to develop new skills, these activities will help. For more information, please contact Integrity, Inc. at (501) 614-7200.