Activity Ideas for Kids with Autism

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    By: ActivityTree

    Children with autism don’t typically have physical limitations that hamper participation in kid’s activities. The obstacles lie in the social aspects of participation.  Fortunately, there are still plenty of activity options for children with autism! 

    If you are interested in participating in mainstream sports, autistic children are more likely to be successful in individual sports.  These sports require less reliance on social cues or teamwork. Water sports such as swimming or diving are a great choice. Kids get to experience the support and positive feedback of being part of a team, but the actual activity does not rely heavily on collaboration.  Martial arts is another good choice. Karate and kung fu both tend to appeal to an autistic child’s need for repetition.  You might also want to give cross country running or track a try.  Running is not only great exercise, but a good way to help focus an autistic child’s energy into a basic set of movements.

    You can also look for adapted sports programs that have been specifically designed for children with autism in mind. The YMCA is one national organization that, at select locations, offers these types of programs.   US Youth Soccer Organization has also developed a soccer program for children with mental and physical disabilities called Top Soccer.  These programs are offered through many soccer associations around the country.  Also check your local parks and recreation department.  Many cities have developed adapted programs that would be appropriate for children with autism.

    Of course mainstream sports are not the only options.  Art is a great fit as it doesn’t require teamwork or involve excessive noise. Art is a wonderful way for students to express themselves without having to struggle to find the words.  Horseback riding has not only proven to be an effective way of keeping your child active, but also an activity that has physical and emotional benefits for autistic children.  For the best fit, look for a farm or school that offers therapeutic riding programs.

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