Mental health information – As a parent or caregiver for children with autism, you may be a little confused about choosing activities for children with autism, especially on weekends. This is because their lack of ability to interact has limited them to doing activities in places that are too busy.
Of course, just leaving them at home without useful activities is not wise. Because, there are still other positive activities that autistic children can do, such as the following.
What activities for children with autism under five?
If the autistic child you are fostering is under 5 years old, weekend activities that can be done are as follows:
1. Social activity
Quoted from Livestrong, children with the autism spectrum have difficulty understanding and interacting with other people. They also often withdraw from the social environment because they are considered not able to blend in with others.
Therefore, train them with group games. For example, you could take a child with autism to play card games, share stories with each other and sing. That way, they will understand that themselves and others have the same opportunity in every activity.
2. Cognitive activity
Not only do activities that can improve their social skills, but also do activities that can help them develop their thinking skills.
Children with autism spectrum usually have difficulty focusing and paying attention to something for a long time. So, play games that require memory, such as learning different shapes and colors.
3. Communication activities
According to a report written by Watson and Baranek reported by Livestrong, communication problems in children with autism can range from mild to severe. For that, practice communication by playing boards with pictures of food, drinks, and various daily activities so that he can point out what he wants and can convey it to others.
4. Activities for motor skills
Autistic children may not master some fine and gross motor skills. Together with a therapist, do a variety of simple activities such as eating with your own hands, brushing your teeth, or riding an age-adjusted four-wheeled bicycle.
Elementary school activities for children with autism
If the autistic child you are fostering is over 5 years old, the weekend activities you do should be more complex. Meanwhile, when entering elementary school, autistic children will be “more visible” among their peers.
So, don’t let the child feel intimidated and practice it with the following games:
1. The game “I spy”
This game increases the focus on children with autism. How: describe or describe the object in as much detail as possible to the child, and let him enter the room to find the object.
2. Guess the object game
This game trains the senses of autistic children. Here’s how: ask the child to close his eyes first. Then, give an object in his hand and let him feel or feel the object. Having thought of something by him, let them guess the object.
3. The “paint my face” game
This game can make autistic children learn to recognize emotions. Here’s how: ask the child to draw a big circle on a piece of paper. Then, demonstrate a feeling through your face and let them draw your face. After that, ask the child to guess the emotion in the picture; whether you are sad, happy, or angry.
4. Dance together
This game aims to train physical coordination. The trick: dance to the rhythm of the music together.
5. Puppet show
This game is intended so that autistic children can learn to recognize situations. Here’s how: create a fun story theme and play with the dolls you have as the characters.
Apart from the above activities, when the weekend comes, you can also invite children with autism to exercise. This aims to prevent them from obesity, aka being overweight.
Quoted from Verywell Health, here are some sports that children with autism can do:
- Aerobics. It can help reduce harmful self-stimulating behavior, promote weight loss, maintain heart health, and relieve stress.
- Swimming. Water can have a calming sensory effect on children with autism.
- Bowling. Repetition of the bowling technique can comfort them.
- Horseback riding. Not infrequently children with autism are good at communicating with animals, so this activity can be used as indirect therapy.
With the reference to the activities above, it is hoped that children with autism can still carry out positive activities that are beneficial for their own development. Apart from being able to take advantage of time, the fun activities above can also train various basic abilities that can become provisions for autistic children in living life.