Child care

Activities for Children with Autism – Types

Children with autism require special care. They have the right to get a good academic education along with other children. They need a lot of movement and sensory stimulation, as well as recreation.  Parents of children with autism can experiment to find which activities their children will like and should find support services to help their children participate in these activities.

There are various types of activities that children with autism can participate in.  However, they may need a parent or support staff to be with them so that if they get over stimulated or have a meltdown, they can take a break from the activity and have supervision.

Types of activities for children with autism
There are many types of recreation in which autistic children can participate. These include hobbies, group activities, and individual sporting events.

  • Hobbies:  Children with autism can take an interest in and participate in different hobbies such as playing board games, coin collecting, photography, art, or indoor and outdoor games. These types of recreation can provide enjoyment and build learning capabilities in kids with autism.  Because they may get frustrated easily, their attention span for these activities may be very short.
  • Group activities: These may include team sports such as baseball or soccer. However, when put into competitive situations with a number of other children, they may not do well.  Also loud cheering and other noises surrounding sports team games can be too much for them to handle.  Parents or others can help them develop skills in these sports outside of the atmosphere of competition.
  • Special Programs:  Many communities have special teams for kids with autism.  In addition, there are special programs for autistic children who have difficulty functioning within the framework of over stimulating environments.  Sometimes medical insurance will pay for therapeutic support staff to assist children in regular team or club activities.
  • Individual sporting activities:  Children with autism may do better with individual activities.  These may include track events, cycling, skating, cross-country running, golf, hiking, or skiing.   These might be stressful for them if they are in competition with others.  Because of their developmental disabilities, they may not have the physical athletic abilities that other children their age have.  It is good to get kids with autism to participate in physical activities in which there is enjoyment, but not stressful competition.  Some sports activities may make them feel frustrated.  So try different ones until you find one the child enjoys.

There are numerous benefits of recreation for kids with autism. It is very important for them to have ways to interact with people and to socialize.  But realize that they frequently need breaks and time away from groups.  After a few minutes away, they are often able to rejoin the activities.

References

The Parenting Autism Resource Guide

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