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Autism is becoming a common neurological condition that can affect brain development. Due to this, children diagnosed with autism tend to have difficulties in socializing, communicating and responding to the environment around them. As we all know, a play is, definitely, the very best way to encourage your child to learn, explore and interact with the world around them and it’s no different for an autistic child. In fact, there are plenty of fun and therapeutic activities that can help increase an autistic child’s social skills and strengthen the bond between them and the environment around.
According to research, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will prefer activities that offer a strong sensory feedback and they will also choose repetitive motions. Below are some fun and therapeutic activities for children with autism:
Have the child draw a large circle on a piece of paper and encourage them to draw your face as you demonstrate several emotions through your facial expressions. Once the child has drawn the face, make them paint it if they choose to and assist him/her in labeling the emotions as sad, happy, angry and so on.
This activity which involves shredding and ripping the paper to create colourful little pieces and is a great way to engage an autistic child with sensory and coordination skills. In fact, they would love the experience of handling the paper and creating shapes and colours and finally forming it all into one beautiful flower bouquet that can also make for a lovely gift or decoration.
While this is very messy, it’s also incredibly fun! Finger painting can help a child learn about colours and also allow them to discover new textures through touch. Have a canvas laid down in front of them and allow them to use their fingers as a paintbrush to create their own little masterpieces.
This is a very fun and creative way to help a child to create an ocean within a water bottle. All you need to do is make the child pour in some water, food colouring, baby oil and glitter and shake the bottle to see the swirling ocean inside. To make a little more fun, you can also make them throw in a few seashells inside and once an autistic child sees how he/she created a whole new world within a bottle, it can bring in a lot of excitement and a sense of accomplishment.
Make the child close his/her eyes and hand over a small object or toy for the child to feel. If the autistic child is verbal, then encourage him/her to describe it to you. If the child is non-verbal, then have him/her show a picture of the object after he has opened his eyes. This activity promotes the child to use his senses other than vision to learn more about the world around them.
It is also important to understand that every child is unique and autism affects each child in a different way. Introducing them to the above-mentioned activities may sometimes be difficult but with a lot of patience, you will soon see how it can stimulate attention, enhance skills and improve communication.