H. Some activities for children with Autism
- Visual scheduling: This is a great way to organize your child’s schedule. Use pictures of the tasks that your child does throughout the day like brushing, bathing, eating, playing, sleeping, etc. Arrange them on a board or in a book in the order of the events. These pictures must be shown to the child as and when the child does the tasks. This acts as a visual cue to prepare the child for the task, it helps that child understand the order of events, and eliminates difficulties faced during the transition.
- Script: If your child often has a tough time adjusting to new environments, you can make a script with pictures and verbal information about the environment that you are planning to visit soon. For example, if you are taking your child to a new restaurant you can show them pictures of the restaurant, the seating, the food that you would order, etc prior to the visit. This makes it easier for the child to adjust in the new environment and be comfortable.
- Pretend play: As the name suggests, this involves games like pretending to cook, clean, bathe, feeding the doll, fixing the toy car. You can also pretend to be a doctor, teacher, mailman, etc. These games must be fun and thoroughly engaging. They involve a lot of functional language stimulation and social interaction. It is very important for the parent to be fully involved as a participant in these games because the child learns by watching you play.
- People games: These games help in building the child’s interaction skills. Also known as social games, these include games like Peek-a-boo, Pat-a-cake, Tickles, Round around the garden, Piggyback ride, lifting the child up in the air, catch and chase games, etc.
- Social stories: Short stories that describe social concepts and social skills, can be used to teach the child about various social situations. Social stories can be used to teach your child the concepts of friendship, personal space, appropriate behaviors, good manners, good touch - bad touch, following rules, emotions, etc. You can look for social stories online or even make them up yourself based on your child’s needs.
- Sensory play: Playing with clay, water, sand, and different textures can be very stimulating and soothing for the child.