By Cassidy Hopson
Summer is characterized by longer days, warm weather and more free time. This makes it the perfect opportunity for those with special needs to try new activities that can help strengthen their skills. Below are 5 summer activities great for both children and adults with autism spectrum disorder.
Go for a swim
Whether it’s at the pool or the beach, swimming is a great way to cool off in the summer heat. Plus, swimming can help those with ASD improve respiration, normalize sensory integration and increase muscle strength and coordination.
Do arts and crafts
People with ASD often struggle with sensory stimulation, from touch, noise, taste and more. Arts and crafts can provide an outlet to stimulate those senses while expressing oneself creatively. Occupational Therapist, Alescia Ford-Lanza, details multiple art projects that can aid in sensory stimulation and build skills for those with ASD.
Go for a walk/run
Walking or running is a great way form of exercise that doesn’t require any equipment and can be done alone or with family. Furthermore, it allows those with ASD to participate in a sport without social interactions that might cause stress.
Read a book
Reading is a great way to relax and escape into another world while simultaneously developing comprehension skills. No matter your age or reading level, there is a book out there for you. If you are a parent looking to introduce your child to reading, make sure to choose books on subjects that interest your child. Reading Rocket provides tips to help parents of children with ASD teach their kids to love to read.
Join virtual summer activities
Maintaining a regular routine is often critical to ensuring success for kids living with ASD. However, during this time of the pandemic and uncertainty, maintaining a routine can be challenging. To do this, consider transitioning part of your daily routine to virtual summer activities. Autism Speaks has a great list of at –home activities that your child can participate in, ranging from educational tasks, games, field trips and more that can keep your child entertained.
For more information or further ideas, reach out to your local care team
Danneman, I., & Weiss, A. (n.d.). Summer Activities for Kids with Autism. Retrieved from https://funandfunction.com/blog/summer-activities-for-kids-with-autism
Recreation. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/activites-children-autism
Rudy, L. J. (2019, December 04). 10 Activities to Enjoy With Your Autistic Child. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/hobbies-activities-autistic-child-260365
Smith, H. (2016, October 28). How Video Games Benefit Students With Special Needs. Retrieved from https://www.aane.org/video-games-benefit-students-special-needs/