What to do with all that excellent time in the summer? Many people take vacations or spend time outdoors enjoying the warm weather. But for a therapist who works with children with autism, the summer can be an excellent opportunity to catch up on Some much-needed professional help for loved ones with autism.
Most children with autism receive the majority of their treatment during the school year. This means that during the summer when they are out of school, they face a change in their routine which can be difficult for them to cope with.
Due to this change, some may regress in their trained skills or develop new problem behaviors. But there are best approaches an ABA therapist can utilize during the summer to support children diagnosed with autism.
Establishing outdoor and Socialisation Activities
The summer months provide an incredible opportunity to get kids with autism outdoors and interact with their peers. While many children with autism struggle with social interactions, they need opportunities to practice these skills. There are many ways to facilitate social interactions in a natural setting.
One popular activity is swimming. Swimming can be a thoughtful approach to improving a child’s social skills while providing much-needed relief from the overwhelming heat. Many communities offer special swimming programs for children with autism that train therapists and staff. These programs can provide a safe and structured environment for children to learn how to swim and interact with other children.
Picnics and playdates
Another great way to get kids with autism outdoors and interact with their peers is to have picnics or playdates. This can be an excellent opportunity for children to practice their social skills in a natural setting. Make sure to bring along some favourite snacks and activities to keep everyone engaged. Keep the groups small and have a few adults on hand to help facilitate the interaction.
Community outings are another great way to get kids with autism to interact with their peers. Many different types of community outings can be beneficial for children with autism. Some ideas include going to the park, visiting the zoo, or going to a museum. These outings can provide an excellent opportunity for children to practice their social skills in a natural setting.
Things to keep in mind
When working with children with autism, keeping a few things in mind is essential. First, every child is different and will respond to activities differently. Be sure to tailor the activity to the individual child’s interests and abilities. If a child is not interested in an activity, likely, they will not engage in it. Try to find activities the child is interested in and build on their strengths.
Second, it is essential to keep the activities short and sweet. Children with autism often have a delicate attention span and may become overwhelmed or frustrated if an activity is too long, boring or complex. Keep things simple and focus on one task at a time.
Finally, have a data system in place to track the child’s progress. This will help you identify which activities are working well and which need to be tweaked. With some planning, the summer months can be a great time to work on social skills with children with autism. Utilise the tips above to get started.