Activities for Children with Autism
When you have an autistic child, sometimes it feels as though your child is the only one always missing out on the fun. They may not be able to do the same things as other children their age, but there are many activities that children with autism can do. Some of these are also educational and help your child develop life skills while he or she has fun.
Sensory Table – many children with autism are extra-sensitive to items with certain textures – for example, they may instinctively shy away from “crunchy” items like breakfast cereals or dried fall leaves. A sensory table with a wide range of things to touch – slimy, soft, hard, crunchy, smooth, rough, etc – can provide hours of fun while helping young children get used to new textures.
Puppet Show – children with autism often struggle in social situations, especially new ones. Using puppets to act out a scene (for example, your child’s first day at school) and model normal social interactions is not only fun, but will also help prepare your child for negotiating similar scenarios in real life.
Dance Party – like most children, children with autism often respond strongly to music. Playing fun, energetic music will get your child up and dancing, while softer classical music may help them to calm down. Dancing is also a great way to help children develop physical coordination.
Drawing Faces – children with autism usually have difficulty interpreting emotions in other people. Working with your child to draw different facial expressions – a happy face, a sad face, a surprised face, a scared face, an angry face – can help them better understand other people’s emotions as well as talk more freely about their own.