Mother Nature is a great teacher. She is powerful and always has a lesson to share with anyone willing to listen. Everyone can learn and benefit from spending time outdoors. Nature therapy has been shown to be extremely effective for children with disabilities. In most cases, it involves walking or hiking in the wilderness with a therapist. Not only will a child develop their current skill set, but also will likely have fun in the process. Here are some of the ways nature therapy can be beneficial for special needs children.
Reduce Stress Levels
Nature can be extremely calming to many people. There is something incredibly tranquil about strolling through the woods during the autumn months. The leaves on trees are a multitude of vibrant colors that can take your breath away and make you feel at ease. During spring and summer, there is a vast variety of wildlife that can be a spectacle to observe. Special needs children sometimes need outlets to help reduce their stress levels. Nature therapy can be an extremely relaxing and enjoyable experience for many children.
Children can learn about themselves through nature. It is one of the best ways children with disabilities can increase their self-awareness levels. They may realize all kinds of things about themselves on a hike through the woods. They may learn that they love a certain species of animal or flower. Maybe, they realize they love climbing surfaces or just exercising in general. Whatever the case may be, try to think of nature therapy as sort of an outdoor classroom for children with disabilities.
Helps Develop Sensory Skills
Children need to develop their sensory skills. There are all sorts of ways children can do this in nature and have fun in the process. Although this is not always the safest of options, children actually benefit from walking around barefoot. It puts them closer to nature and allows their senses to run wild. Other ways children can do this is by climbing ropes and trees, hoping across stones, and playing by splashing in puddles.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.