Friday, July 12, 2024

How To Keep A Child With Autism Busy

Don't Miss

For The Sensory Processing Disorders

Keeping Kids Busy at Home: Using a Schedule for Kids with Autism

Using sensory integration products is one key way to help a child with sensory processing disorder make sense of the world additionally, these products are ideal for children who do not have sensory processing disorder, and these items can help children reach important developmental milestones.

One such sensory integration product is a sensory board, and you can purchase one or make one yourself. Including your child in the creation of a sensory board is a fun activity, and you can really tailor the board to your childs needs.

For example, a parent of a child who wakes during the night due to extreme sensitivity to sounds might set a goal of improving tolerance of ordinary noises and sleeping through the night. For a child who hates touching food, the goal might be to decrease touch sensitivity to the point that the child can comfortably eat a meal.

Theres A Difference Between Forcing Behaviors And Encouraging Independence

Ive learned from experience that trying to force independence is counterintuitive, whether or not your child has autism.

When we push a child, especially one prone to anxiety and rigidity, their natural instinct is to dig their heels in and hold on tighter.

When we force a child to face their fears, and I mean screaming-on-the-floor petrified, like Whitney Ellenby, the mother who wanted her son with autism to see Elmo, we arent actually helping them.

If I was forced into a room full of spiders, I would probably be able to detach from my brain at some point to cope after about 40 hours of screaming. That doesnt mean I had some kind of breakthrough or success in facing my fears.

I also assume Id store those traumas and theyd invariably be triggered later in my life.

Of course, pushing independence isnt always as extreme as the Elmo scenario or a room full of spiders. All of this pushing falls on a spectrum ranging from encouraging a hesitant child to physically forcing them into a scenario that has their brain screaming danger.

When we let our children get comfortable at their own pace and they finally take that step of their own volition, true confidence and security grows.

That said, I understand where the Elmo mom was coming from. We know our kids would enjoy whatever activity if they would just try it.

We want them to feel joy. We want them to be brave and full of confidence. We want them to fit in because we know what rejection feels like.

Top Advice For Surviving Plane Travel With Your Autistic Child

By Anna Harford

It was not going to be an easy journey seated next to a tired, overstimulated child who needed constant reassurance and who repetitively pushed buttons, opened and closed tray tables, was anxious about flying, and didnt like crowds.

The problems began when we boarded the plane and realized we had been seated in a different part than our children, and due to the adults sitting in an exit row, I was unable to sit near my son with autism spectrum disorder .

Things went from bad to worse throughout the flight. Bad turbulence meant no one could leave their seats for five hours, and the food and drink service was suspended during this time. The flight attendant had promised my son a drink but never came back. When he was eventually attended to after five hours, he was told they had run out of the drink he wanted, despite it having been served to the row behind.

At one point, my child was made to move by the flight attendant without warning or the ability to pause his movie first. He got more and more stressed, and to cut a long story short, by the time we landed seven hours later , he was in full-on head banging, punching, kicking, and loudly-screaming meltdown mode! I couldnt calm him down until we were off the plane, through security, and in a quiet corner of the baggage reclaim room.

Also Check: Is Cerebral Palsy A Form Of Autism

Tips That Improved My Autistic Child’s Behavior

This guest post was written by Chrissy Kelly, a mom of two boys with autism. You can read more about her and her family on her blog, “Life With Greyson + Parker,” and also her page.

Our house has been a revolving door of Behavior Therapists over the past almost four years. Both boys put in about 20 hours a week of intense therapy. I never thought a kidless 20-something year old might be able to teach me something about my own children. The presence of autism in my life has grown my mind a thousand times over. So much of parenting children with autism is counter-intuitive. I say and do things I never thought would work, but they do. Here is a small list of techniques that we use daily that help reduce tantrums, increase understanding, direction following and happiness . There is no one thing that works for all children, and there is no one quick fix, however, many of these techniques will work for many children. Whether or not they have autism.

Break Out Your Sensory Toolkit

21 busy bags to keep kids busy on the go

Keep a few sensory tools or toys in your car or bag. You can offer these to your kid when their mind is overwhelmed.

Kids have different favorites, but some common sensory tools include weighted lap pads, noise-cancelling headphones, sunglasses, and fidget toys.

Dont force these on your child when theyre melting down, but if they choose to use them, these products can often help them calm down.

Read Also: How Are Kids Tested For Autism

Keeping Kids Busy At Home With Choices

The other big thing, with Lucas and with all kids with autism, is we need to give them choices, like holding up two games and saying, which one do you want to try first? Thats a little preference assessment. You can also put all the games you have into a book to help them see the choices visually. Weve used choice boards with Lucas as well. If youre not fully conversational, even though you can speak, sometimes visual support is really helpful when the child or client cant articulate their needs or wants.

Theres also the book, Activity Schedules for Young Children with Autism, which teaches you how to make small activity books as visual references. We created one for when Lucas takes his medicine. We have medicine pre poured in apple sauce, so we put a picture of that on page one. Then he gets cereal and turkey bacon. We have a picture of him getting that out of the package. Next is a picture of him putting the bacon out a on a paper plate. He punches in 2 0 0 start for the microwave. He eats, he cleans up, puts his dishes in the dishwasher, he sweeps, he sprays and wipes down the counter. Thats his routine.

Repeat What Your Child Says And Does

A good way to make your child more aware of their actions and to help them focus on an interaction is to repeat what they say and do. This should not only attract your childs attention, but may make your child curious to see what you do next. The idea is that this should turn into a game where you both take turns imitating each other.

Don’t Miss: How To Heal Autism In 30 Days Book

Airline Flights Can Be Disruptive And Challenging For Children With Autism These Tips Can Help Your Prepare And Make Your Family Flight Go Smoothly

Air travel can be difficult for seasoned adult travelers and even more taxing for children. For kids with autism spectrum disorder , who bring their own unique sensitivities to airports and flying, the experience can be even more difficult.

At Marcus Autism Center, we understand the special needs of children with autism. Use these tips to help your family plan for a successful air travel experience.


Help your child prepare for air travel as soon as you know your familys plans.


Packing the right items to support your childs needs can make a world of difference when traveling.

  • Dont forget to pack necessary coping or treatment items in your carry-on bag, like a change of clothes and medicines.
  • Bring items to keep your child entertained. Be sure to pack your childs favorite toys, books, snacks, headphones and plane-safe electronics. Keep in mind that there will be times when electronics may not be used on the plane.
  • Have contingency plans for possible flight delays.

Ask for help

Many airports and airlines have supportive resources and staff. Dont hesitate to ask for the help you need.

  • Learn where you can find resources at the airport, such as customer assistance desks, quiet rooms, family-friendly bathrooms and sensory-friendly rooms.
  • There are many support staff within the airport to assist your family. Ask for support or accommodations if and when you need them.

Whether your family travels by plane or , preparation and communication are key.

Dont Stop Trying To Include Us

Keep your Autistic Child Comfortable – Therapy Sock

Autistic children, their siblings, and their parents are simply people, and people like to feel as if they are a part of a community. Though spending the day with a child on the Autism Spectrum may come with a few additional challenges, continue to spend time with them. Ask families to come to the Sunday BBQ, ask questions to better understand, and invite the parents out for dinner and an evening away. If they say no, ask again next time.

You May Like: When Did Autism First Start

Get Emotional Support To Help You Cope With All Thats Going On In Your Life Including Raising An Autistic Child

I realize you are insanely busy, but you must carve out time for emotional support. Sure, talk to your mom, sibling or friend. But this might not be enough, especially if they do not have an autistic child of their own. Joining a local parent group or will connect you with other parents who truly get what you are going through. Additionally, you might pick up some useful tips and tricks.

If you are feeling overwhelmed to the point you are struggling to get through the day, look into therapy. Parents: there is no shame in getting some professional help, and if need be, taking a medication like an antidepressant. I am speaking from experience. There have been times when I got really honest with myself and recognized I could no longer cope without some professional help. You dont have to do it forever, just long enough to get yourself back on track.

Because of the pandemic, many support groups and therapists now offer remote appointments which can save you a lot on time. Remote therapies are sometimes cheaper as well.

And speaking of money, I get it, I know many of you do not have insurance coverage for mental health services. But investing in your mental health is critical, especially if you are in crisis. Check out this link on how to find affordable therapy, if your financial resources are low.

If you are feeling suicidal, please, please, immediately get help! Call 800-273-8255 or go here.

Tip : Skip The Queues

Once in the terminal, it is worth talking to a member of the staff near the check-in line, as they can normally send you down to a disabled or priority passenger line to check in, which is less stressful.

If you are at an airport like Manchester with the wristband, then you can fast track through security using the special assistance line. Otherwise, make use of the disabled line and just explain to the person manning the entrance.

Also Check: Can Autistic Child Study In Normal School

How Am I Supposed To Keep My Autistic Child Busy For 5

We’ve got 101 fun ideas to keep you and the kids busy! Plant a garden. Find a pen pal. Start a new collection. Climb a tree. Make crock-pot apple sauce. Play in the sprinkler Pick strawberries. Water balloon toss Keeping your autistic child safe isn’t just about keeping him in you also need to keep Busy Philipps Is ‘So Proud’ of Child Birdie for Landing Their First Acting Gig in New Rom-Com. How to Calm an Autistic Child Quickly. If you’re new to autism and want to know how to calm an autistic child as quickly as possible, I encourage you to keep 2 things in mind before you do anything: Your child isn’t giving you a hard time – he or she is having a hard time The more pieces of the activity that you can get your child used to, the less overwhelming the new activity might seem to them. 2. Incorporate favourites into any activity. Many children with autism have topics, items, characters, and other things that they are particularly interested in What Not to Do With an Autistic Child. Just as there are plenty of steps to support a child with autism, there are many ways to cause harm. Follow a few simple steps to ensure that you’re considered a helper. Don’t Approach Parents With Pity Children with autism may seem different than your own

Chat With Your Local Community Centre And Work Together With Instructors

21 Screen

Increasingly, community centres have mandates to support access to recreation for people of all ages and abilities. If you have found an activity that you think your child might enjoy, dont be afraid to talk to staff at the community centre and let them know what you think might be needed in order to allow your son or daughter to participate.

Instructors may not automatically know how to adapt a particular class, but often are more than willing to take your suggestions or advice in order to make things accessible and successful.

Recommended Reading: Is Trump’s Son Barron Autistic

Use Time To Decrease Transitional Tantrums

Many children have trouble leaving preferred places and activities. This is a BIG one for my 5 year old. There were times I wouldn’t even take him to our neighborhood park because I was so scared of that awful moment when we had to leave. He was unpredictable and erratic. Sometimes he would scream and fall to the ground, or try to run into a busy street to get away from me, or lash out to hit me. It broke my heart and downright scared me. One thing that has been life-changing for us is using Minute Warnings/Timers: Your child may need a 5 minute, 2 minute, or 1 minute warning before there is a change of activity. These warnings help the children prepare for the transition. They will begin to learn that the warning comes and then the change comes. Eventually, the minute warnings become routine, even if the next task is not.

We set a timer on our iphone. “In five minutes you need to take a bath.” “In two minutes we are leaving the park.”This helps a child feel more in control without controlling us. When the timer goes off you have to carry through every single time. We did this continuously for two weeks before we started to see results. Now it’s been years and it still works. Set your boundaries, stick to them, and follow through.

My Autistic Child Has Feelings

A common challenge children on the Autism Spectrum and their parents face is the assumption that because an autistic child cannot verbalize or express their feelings like a neurotypical child might, those feelings must not exist. But nothing could be further from the truth. As one parent bluntly describes, Even children who dont speak can still hear you. Dont talk to me over my children like they arent there, especially if youre going to sympathetically tell me what a saint I am for dealing with a horrible situation every day. Im not a saint. Im their mother. And she HEARS YOU and understands that youre saying shes a burden to me.

Don’t Miss: How Late Can Autism Develop

Science Fiction And Fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy are often of great interest to people with autism. Depending on their interest levels and abilities, people on the spectrum may learn every detail of a particular “universe,” write their own stories, watch and rewatch movies, read comics, attend cons, or even build their own costumes.

There is a whole world of opportunity for hobbyists out there, at all levels. Find your inner caped crusader, and get involved.

Hobbies And Activities To Enjoy With Your Autistic Child


Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Whether your child with autism is on the mild or severe end of the autism spectrum, many ordinary childhood activities can be challenging. It can be hard to work around sensory issues, social and communication challenges, and a preference for repetition and routine.

The result, unhappily, is that many families avoid trying new things with their autistic family members. But the fact that people with autism may not ask for company or explore new possibilities on their own is not a reason to give up. Instead, it’s an opportunity to find the best way to reach out and learn with and from them.

Verywell / Ellen Lindner

Read Also: Is My Child Autistic Or Spoiled

Dealing With Busy Places As A Person On The Autism Spectrum

Busy places can bring about a lot of different issues for me. In a lot of ways, they can bring a lot of stress and can also be quite tiring. It is also yet another thing that has to be dealt with, and although I will never be able to deal with busy areas perfectly, there are a lot of different things I can do to make things easier.

The main things that can bother me when in a busy place are the numbers of people around, a lot of noise, a lot of different things to look at and also a lack of places to go that are out of the way for a break. If I find myself in a situation like this, the chances are I cannot cope for too long until I have to go home, or at least leave the busy area in search of somewhere quieter. This really only applies to any time I am attending a big event, and I do not go to many of these. A busy event is an extreme example stress can also appear in every day situations as well. The ones I find most difficult are busy streets, corridors and stairs that echo, large open plan rooms such as libraries or cafeterias, traffic and anywhere playing loud music. It may appear, then, that I am quite limited in all the different things I can do throughout the day. This is not the case.

There are a lot of different things that can be done to make everyday situations a lot easier.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock image by Digital Vision

More articles

Popular Articles

Is Adhd Similar To Autism