If your child has autism, we’re sure you’ve given endless thoughts to all the forms of therapy that might benefit them. There truly are more resources available for your child than ever before. You may have considered measures such as speech or physical therapy. While these can certainly be a big help, the good news is that one of the most effective forms of treatment is also the most fun: recreational therapy.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of recreation for children with autism. Recreational therapy has demonstrated impacts on the psychological and physical health of the participant. It can also help to improve social skills and to cultivate your child’s interests. With this in mind, here are a few forms of recreational therapy you should consider for your child.
Art therapy stands as one of the more well-known and regularly practiced forms of recreational therapy. Many children with autism struggle to express themselves orally and to grasp abstract thoughts. Art is an excellent way for children to find a new outlet for expressing themselves while honing their understanding of non-literal expression. Who knows—art might just turn into one of their lifelong hobbies!
Music has many of the perks of art therapy, with the added benefit of developing rhythm and motor skills. Music therapy can take the form of learning a musical instrument, but it could also be singing. Another advantage of music, as opposed to other forms of art therapy, is that it can improve your child’s memory, which will be a great asset in an academic setting.
The previous forms of recreational therapy we’ve focused on have a physical component, but sports provide the greatest opportunity for developing motor skills, body awareness, and coordination. Almost any sport can serve as a form of therapy for your child. In addition to the physical aspect of sports, they also naturally lend themselves to the development of social skills and, ultimately, friendships.
Nature and the Outdoors
Finally, you may want to consider experiencing the outdoors with your child. Especially given the COVID-19 pandemic, too many children (and adults!) are cooped up inside. Before the weather gets too cold, spending some time outdoors can do wonders for your child’s psychological well-being and observational skills. This could take the form of gardening, bird watching, or simply a walk in the woods or a local park.
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.