Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects an individual’s communication, social interaction, and behavior. Children with autism often have heightened sensory sensitivities, making it challenging to participate in typical activities that most children enjoy. However, sensory-friendly activities can be a fantastic way to engage children with autism while providing a safe and enjoyable environment. Here are some sensory-friendly activities you can do at home with children with autism.
Sensory bins – Sensory bins can be made by filling a plastic container with materials such as rice, beans, sand, or water. Children can explore and play with the textures, colors, and sounds in the bin. Sensory bins can be customized to a child’s interests and sensory preferences.
Calming activities – Children with autism often benefit from activities that promote relaxation and self-regulation. Activities like swinging, sliding, water play, yoga, deep breathing, and meditation can help reduce stress and improve focus.
Sensory play – Sensory play is an excellent way for children to explore their senses in a safe and controlled environment. Some examples of sensory play activities include playing with shaving cream on a table, playdough, kinetic sand, or slime. These activities provide tactile input and can be very calming for children with autism. Proprioceptive (i.e., balance and movement) and exteroceptive (i.e., hearing, taste, smell, touch, etc.) activities are also likely to be enjoyable for children with autism as part of their sensory play.
Art activities – Art activities can be a great way for children to express themselves and develop their creativity. Sensory-friendly art activities like finger painting or using different textures and materials can provide a unique sensory experience while promoting self-expression.
Outdoor activities – Spending time outside can be a great way to engage children with autism. Outdoor activities like gardening, nature walks, or playing with water can provide sensory input while promoting physical activity.
Music activities – Music can be very therapeutic for children with autism. Activities like singing, dancing, or playing musical instruments can provide a unique sensory experience while promoting social interaction and communication skills.
In conclusion, sensory-friendly activities are a great way to engage children with autism while promoting their development and well-being. By providing a safe and enjoyable environment, parents and caregivers can help children with autism explore their senses and develop their skills. When planning sensory-friendly activities, it’s essential to consider a child’s sensory preferences and interests. By tailoring activities to meet a child’s needs, parents and caregivers can create a positive and engaging experience that will benefit the child for years to come.