Life Skills Summer Activities
Summer vacation can be a great time to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the school year, but it can also bring about some added stress of going away from the typical routine. Some teens may do well without structure, but some may still need some structure throughout their day as well. As a family, we are always finding ways that we can continue to work on building life skills with everyday activities.
The summer months can be a great way to explore new activities that you may not have the time to do during the school year. These can be great activities to help engage your teen in new and fun experiences, but also help them learn new life skills as well. Just because it is the summer, does not mean they have to stop learning.
We decided to help create a list of summer learning activities that you can do with your teen this summer to help them gain independence with life skills!
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Involve Your Child In Daily Decisions
Remember that children love to participate and gain parental approval. Even the most mundane of tasks can be fun when done together. For example, set a weekly menu. Look through cookbooks and the pantry to decide what items need to be added to the grocery list. Ask your child what meals he prefers and ask him to find out the required items and write them on the list. Then, shop together and work on getting familiar with the store. Finally, checking out helps with money management and budgeting. Remember that the ultimate goal is for your child to function independently and its never too late to start.
Create A Shredded Flower Bouquet:
This creative activity involves the ripping and shredding of paper to create a beautiful composition to use as a decorative element. Children with autism who require special needs will love the sensory touch of handling paper and playing with shapes and colors.
You Will Need:
How To Do:
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Activities For Teens With Autism
During the teen years, kids on the spectrum can struggle with communication, social skills, and the executive function or planning aspects of daily life. Using speech and language for teens with autism can help strengthen a kids ability to communicate with peers and with adults, and sequencing activities can help teens plan out their daily schedule at home and school.
You can also try these fun social activities with teens on the spectrum:
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What Is Sensory Play For Autism
Sensory play involves games and activities that stimulate the 5 senses: sound, sight, smell, taste and touch. This is particularly important for children with autism spectrum disorder who often struggle processing sensory information, as they may be extremely sensitive to certain sounds or find bright lights distressing, for example.
Sensory activities for autism are effective learning tools that engage all areas of a childs brain, helping them with their cognitive, emotional, physical, social and communication development. For autistic children, engaging in sensory play can retrain the brains response to sensory information. This helps them cope better when dealing with different sounds, textures, lights, scents and taste.
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Effective Teaching Strategies For Children With Autism
In some cases, the learning characteristics of students with autism may differ from the rest of your class. But luckily, the right teaching strategies and methods can keep children with autism on track to finish the school year strong. Try these tips, educational accommodations, and resources for students with autism to help them learn concepts that might otherwise be difficult for them to grasp.
The Process Of Therapy With Adolescents With Asd
The process of therapy for clinicians who work with individuals whose symptoms fall on the spectrum requires a unique subset of therapeutic skill that is not always taught in graduate training. While it is important to utilize all of the common microskills with the ASD population, it is also important to recognize these teens and young adults may have an additional set of needs for the therapy room. For instance, they may not have the cognitive capacity to follow metaphors and/or analogies that are often used in therapy. Furthermore, due to challenges with social nuances, a client with ASD may not have the skill to speak up when they donât understand a question or to correct a misinterpretation that a therapist makes. Using concrete and relatable examples will minimize the chances of misunderstandings. It should be noted that the clientâs inability to react appropriately to a clinicianâs questions might have less to do with autism, and more to do with the clinicianâs inability to ask the question correctly. One should continue to check in with both the client and, as appropriate, the family, to gauge how the client is interpreting personal progress in therapy.
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Calming Activities To Prevent Autism Meltdowns In Class
When students with autism are feeling overwhelmed, the intense response that they feel may cause them to lose control of their emotions. This is called an autism meltdown and is different from when students without autism act out in class. While the best strategy for autism meltdowns is to seek help from a school specialist, these calm down activities can help to de-escalate stressful situations.
Sorting With Snacks Activity
This tactile activity for children with autism can be a fun way to engage students during math time. Give everyone in your class a food that is easy to sort, like chewy snacks or small crackers. Multicolored snacks are ideal, but you can also use food that comes in different shapes, textures, or sizes.
First, ask them to sort the food by color, shape, or another characteristic. Then, use the snacks to teach students basic math skills like counting, adding, or subtraction. Once theyve grasped the concept you want to teach, reward your students by letting them eat the snack.
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How To Get Started With Art Therapy Activities For Children With Autism
Art therapy can begin for a child with autism as early as age two or three. In a world that may be otherwise confusing and often overwhelming, art can provide a problem-solving solution that better suits the childs thinking style. Whether your goal is to help your child explore and understand their feelings or decrease certain behavioral issues, here are some ideas to get started.
While its important to work closely with your childs art therapist, as these professionals hold expertise in fine arts and counseling, you can actively work with your child at home, helping them expand on what theyve learned in therapy. Of course, youll need to find what works best for your child. However, the following strategies can help kickstart their creative journey.
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Infographic: Handling Autism Meltdowns
Students with autism may feel overwhelmed and lose control over their emotions, exhibiting strong reactions at school. We share an infographic containing a few calming activities that may help teachers manage these meltdowns and offer children a safe environment.
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Wings For Autism/wings For All
Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® are airport rehearsals specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The programs are designed to alleviate the stress that families who have a child with autism or intellectual/developmental disabilities experience when flying. It provides families the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security and boarding a plane. Airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals, and other personnel also have the opportunity to observe, interact, and deliver their services in a structured learning environment.
Check the link above for dates and locations.
Virtual Social Activity Ideas
While there arent many virtual social interaction resources, there are a few that are sure to help your child practice their social skills with others.
One great tool to help strengthen your childs social skills virtually is by playing games with others online. Were not necessarily referring to Roblox, Minecraft, or Fortnite. However, many teens with autism can benefit from them. Were talking about games specifically designed to help bolster social skills in children with autism.
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Boost Your Brain With A Smelling Game:
Fill a selection of small containers with a mix of fragrant ingredients such as lavender, coffee or soap. Place a seal over the top using a piece of fabric and a rubber band and then ask your child to identify the different smells. Children with Autism love to learn about their senses and the roles they play in exploring their environment.
Just Like Me Activity
For this activity, gather all of your students together on the floor so they can all see each other. Have each child take turns sharing something about themselves, like:
- I have a pet dog.
- I can play the piano.
- My birthday is in September.
- I love to play soccer.
- My favorite color is yellow.
If a statement also applies to other students , instruct them to raise their hands. This will help remind students that they share more similarities than differences with their peers and that they can always find something to talk about.
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Activities For Autistic Teens: In Summary
When it comes to choosing activities for autistic teens, first think about the abilities your teen needs to develop. Pick activities that are geared toward nurturing those abilities. Also consider any possible challenges you may face, such as your teen not taking particularly well to a chosen activity.
Above all, we recommend choosing games and activities that match your teens interests. Theyll be much more eager to participate in an activity if its in line with what they already like. As we mentioned, theyll be able to use these skills to do things like following their passions, finding like-minded people in social activities, and attend clubs and conventions.
We encourage you to start by introducing your son or daughter to Identifors unique selection of games, which can provide greater insight into your teens cognitive development. For more information about assessing your teens abilities, please see our article about the RIASEC test.
Activities For Grade School Children With Autism
At the elementary school level, many children with autism are beginning to stand out more from their peers, and they may be experiencing bullying and social isolation. Social skills activities can help build the skills they need to form relationships. In addition, as peers motor skills become more advanced, some children may find they are falling behind. Gross motor activities can help them catch up with their friends.
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Get Support With Integrity Inc
Raising teens is hard enough. Puberty and hormones cause more than a little anxiety for parents and children. Teens with autism are no exception. There is no checklist explaining how to raise a teen with ASD however, if you put in the time and effort, you can be sure your child will develop and grow. Dont be afraid to reach out for help from your loved ones or connect with other parents via online groups and blogs. Also, look for local programs that support both you and your child. We at Integrity, Inc. offer support, education, therapy, and care that helps you and your special needs child thrive. Licensed by the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division ofDevelopmental Disability Services, you can trust that you have professional, experienced staff at your fingertips. If youre in the Little Rock, Arkansas area, for more information.
Indoor Activities For Kids On The Autism Spectrum
If you are looking for indoor activities for kids on the autism spectrum, then this list of ideas will help you plan your days and reduce your stress!
Kids on the autism spectrum tend to thrive on structure and predictability. Weekends, holidays can actually be a time of stress, as routine tends to go out the window.
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Ways To Get Autistic Kids Or Adults Outdoors
Sensory Playground: Many more playgrounds are becoming accessible. An autistic child may be sensory averse and avoid things like grass, sand, snow and wind. But, there are many outdoors activities that sensory seekers love. Think trampoline, swing, rolling down a hill, chalk, water play or splashing in a stream. They even make adaptive bikes for disabled teens and adults.
And, heres a tipwe got our trampoline from Make A Wish. So if cost is an issue, there are options out there. Outdoor sensory fun doesnt have to be expensive. You just need a plastic tub and some paper cups to have some water play.
I really dont care what people think about ages. If you enjoy something and youre not hurting anyone, if someone is bothered by that thats their problem. My teenager loves to play in water, why would I deprive him of fresh air, sunshine and water?
National Park Junior Ranger program: This is a great program available at most National Parks, National Monuments, National Historic Sites and so on. Kids complete a series of activities in a booklet and then show their work to a park ranger. That ranger will then give them a badge if they have completed the work.
There are over 200 badges that you can earn, and in some cases you can do the work at home and then send it in to receive your badge. Being at the park would be ideal, but sometimes budget doesnt allow for traveling. We have done three so far and many of the activities are about conserving the environment.
Hobbies And Activities To Enjoy
These are some of the most popular activities shared by autistic children and their families. Of course, you and your child may have completely different interests, but these ideas should start your creative juices flowing.
As you read through this list, you may think my child isnt able to comprehend or participate in any of these activities he cant even speak. While that may be true in some cases, the ability to speak, sit still, or otherwise behave normally are not required for most of these activities.
Many children with nonverbal autism are accomplished gamers, artists, swimmers, runners, and more.
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Activities For Autistic Teens
Activities for autistic teens are necessary for fostering an environment that will help them nurture and grow specific abilities. Autistic teens learn best through activities that are designed to teach them something specific.
Lessons in a classroom are not enough for autistic teens to learn and develop new abilities. Classroom teachings should be augmented with outside activities in order to help autistic teens learn through practical experience. This will help teens with activities like following their passions, finding like-minded people in social activities, attending clubs and conventions such as Comic-Con, and navigating social media with guidance.
In this article, we will present you with a variety of engaging activities for autistic teens, which can be both fun and educational.
Add Brain Breaks Or Yoga And Movement Activities
These can be incorporated throughout your childs day. Its critical to ensure your child is taking a break at school and preparing mentally for difficult assignments and tests.
Deep breathing and calming strategies should be practiced when things are calm and not stressful so that they can be easily accessed when a child is stressed.
Many breathing exercises and brain breaks can be found on the internet and here, at the Pocket Occupational Therapist website.
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What Activities Can You Do With Teenagers With Autism
Ups and downs are a normal part of life for all young people. However, teenagers with autism can have more frequent or severe mood changes than their peers. The reason is that they tend to be very resistant to changes in their daily activities. Some might even have meltdowns when they feel entirely overwhelmed, lose control of their behavior, and find it very hard to calm themselves.
They prefer to repeat specific behaviors for hours, so they refuse to stop and react if interrupted. Thus, it can be a challenge to engage them in new activities.
Such unique challenges for parents can feel exhausting and complicated at times. However, specific exercises can help your teens feel more comfortable socializing and making friends with others.
In addition, there are practical steps to take to make your teenager feel loved and cared for without them feeling distressed.
Here are some ideas for activities to do with your teenager child with autism: