With the temperature finally starting to rise and the sun setting later in the evening, it’s spring at last. With warmer weather comes new opportunities to take advantage of the new season and if you have a child or family member with autism, it is a chance to find fun new activities that both your child and whole family can enjoy. Whether you’re planning on spending your Spring Break at home or intend on taking a trip, here are activities and pieces of advice to keep in mind when finding entertaining activities during the spring.
If you’re looking for some fun activities to do at home while still taking advantage of the weather change, one option is to adopt a pet for a day or a week from a local shelter or foster center. After all, pets of all sorts are great ways to help improve a child’s communication and social skills and if your child has a week off from school, then that could be a perfect time for him or her to make a furry new friend.
Spring is also a great time to do some serious spring cleaning, which is something you can build fun activities around. For example, you could urge your kids to go through their old clothes and take out any items they don’t wear anymore, which they can then in turn donate to a local clothing center and learn the value of giving back.
Crafts are always a great way to engage your children and help them to develop their creativity. Some spring-themed crafts involve using old contractor paper to create shredded paper floral bouquets, an activity that involves ripping and shredding paper by hands. Your child will likely love the sensory experience of tearing the paper and the fun sounds it makes while also playing with different shapes and colors.
As spring arrives, so do the massive blockbusters coming out of Hollywood as summer seems to arrive at the multiplex earlier and earlier every year. With this year promising an especially heavy schedule of loud and ferocious blockbusters that your child might be drawn to, you might want to look into whether your local theater offers sensory friendly films. After all, while seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron would normally not even be an option for families with a child with autism, theater chains like AMC offer special screenings of such films in which the sound is turned down, the lights are turned up, and the audience is invited to move around freely in order to create a safe and welcoming environment for your child. Click here to learn more about such screenings.
Finally, if you’re planning a weekend getaway to warmer climates, you likely know that plotting out a family vacation with a child with autism can present a whole new slate of challenges. One tactic that many families have found useful in planning an autism-friend vacation is to stay at a resort that has been designated as an autism-friendly business by the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities. At such resorts as Tradeswinds Island Resorts, the staff is trained in how to handle guests with autism and they have safety kits available throughout the resort so that parents can proof a room with latches to protect against a wandering child going into an area he or she shouldn’t. In addition, resorts like Tradeswinds also offer gluten-free meals to accommodate visitors who are following a particular diet.
So whether your family finds themselves indoors, on vacation, or both this spring, by taking advantage of both what’s inside and outside of your house in a strategic and productive manner, you can create endless fun for your child while helping them to work on their social and communication skills in the process.