Leveraging Playtime as Therapy for Children With Autism

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All children enjoy playing games, and leveraging playtime is a great way to promote learning. It is especially effective to use games for children with autism as a form of therapy and learning. Fun activities is a great way to help an autistic child develop social skills, to gain awareness of the environment around them, as well as learn how to learn, to promote success in school.

Every child on the autism spectrum has a different set of strength and weaknesses, so it is important to use a broad range of resources for children with autism. The activities mentioned below can be altered in any way that helps engage the child. Here are several games for children with autism that are recommended by experts who develop curriculum at schools for children with learning disabilities:

Visual Attention Games for Children With Autism
Some children with autism have difficulty focusing on learning material. Utilize learning activities for children with autism that holds their attention, so that they learn to focus in every realm of education.

One helpful visual attention activity involves a cardboard box with a hole in the top. Place a roll of ribbon in the box with just the tail end sticking out of the hole. The child should pull the entire ribbon out of the box through the hole. Learning that the longer they pulled the ribbon, the more ribbon they get might increase their attention span. If the ribbon coming out of the box is not enough to engage the child, try tying a sound maker to the end of it, such as a rattle or a bell.

Sensory Games for Children With Autism
Many children with autism struggle with sensory sensitivity. Sensory games help the child learn to tolerate a greater range of stimulation than they might be capable of naturally. Another way to help a child with sensory issues is by having them crumple paper into balls. The child might enjoy being destruction, while learning to tolerate the sound and texture of the paper crunching. Once the paper is crumpled, you can fill a bucket with paper balls, and hide a toy that they like in the bottom. The child will have to sort through the paper to get to the toy, giving them a variety of sensations.

Counting Games Children With Autism
Due to attention issues that children with autism often experience, traditional math lessons tend to be less effective. Incorporating counting learning into play engages the child and holds their attention, while they learn the intended lesson. For example, to help a child learn how to count, cut several potatoes in half. Using toothpicks, have the child poke one stick into a potato half, and then two sticks into the next potato, and then three sticks, and so on. The nontraditional activity may hold their attention and help them learn the difference in quantities.

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