Through play, children learn to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength (Ginsburg, 2007). However, some children with autism may need a little extra support during play activities.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often participate better in activities that are constructive in nature, they feel more related and interested in practicing if the activities require to build something or place items in particular manner, this will motive them more than pretending that they are playing, as children use materials to achieve a specific goal that requires transformation of objects into a new configuration.
Things need to be considered while working with autistic kids:
- Spend time to identify motivating activities (best time for communication).
- Make sure you provide the necessary tools for successful communication.( picture boards or voice output ), as visual and auditory input and output to teach skills and increase understanding.
- make sure you understand and have enough and strong practice in used activities.
while playing and within these activities try to keep games and pieces slightly out of the child’s reach so that you can work on the following skills:
- Requesting (choice making)
- Turn-taking (social/pragmatic)
- Commenting (expressive language)
- Vocabulary learning (receptive language)
- Yes/No (e.g. Do you want the red one?)
From what explained before this means that while designing any type of spaces for autistic kids we will need to keep in mind several points such as :
- Providing lots of cabinets or even small room for storing there games, toys, and boards, or any movable learning stuff.
- To think about classrooms as playing areas more than typical studying classrooms, to encourage the kids to use their senses and to motivate them throughout the day.
- The usage of comfortable and safe furniture matching the kids needs.
>>> Activity ideas <<<
– Talk about colours:
– Talk about shapes and colours:
– Use the animal page when playing with a farm puzzle:
-Use the transportation page when playing with a vehicle puzzle:
-Use numbers to count the cars:
– Time in the sensory room:
A sensory room is a place where a person with special needs can interact in a pleasant environment where the distractions of the outside world are completely absent.
– Song play:
– This information has been retrieved from a study done by Stephanie Williams, for more information please click on the following link: http://www.autism-community.com/supporting-play-activities-for-children-with-autism-spectrum-disorders/