Providing support for children with autism in Buckinghamshire is not just about managing their complex needs. It is also about finding fun, engaging ways for them to interact with the world around them. Well-chosen recreational activities mean happier, healthier children with a better overall quality of life.
Why are recreational activities important for children with autism in Buckinghamshire?
Research suggests that recreational activities are vital for all children, and for children with autism they can lead to particular benefits in areas such as emotional and sensory regulation, cognitive function, motor skills, socialization, and communication. At the same time, they can reduce agitation and distress. It is important to find activities which are best suited to each service user based on the potential physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
Music therapy has often proven effective for children with autism, but it can also be a fun recreational activity. Playing with instruments can improve coordination and playing with others is a way to increase socialization. It also provides an alternative, safe form of self-expression for children with communication difficulties. Cognitive function can benefit through counting rhythms and memorizing lyrics and melodies.
Many musical instruments designed for children will come with bright colours and interesting textures that can also improve sensory engagement. You could also attempt to make your instruments, such as filling a plastic bottle with rice and shaking it, or improvising a drum kit with some upside-down buckets. It provides additional opportunities for sensory stimulation and the use of fine motor skills.
Sensory play covers a wide range of activities, but the general theme is an attempt to engage different senses at the same time. This could include activities such as finger painting (visual and tactile) or baking (tactile, olfactory and visual). Many toys are designed to engage multiple senses through colour, sound, and texture. You could even set aside a special area specifically for sensory play, decorated and equipped to use all senses.
It’s crucial to remember that when children with autism are overstimulated, they can experience sensory overload. It’s important to take into account the needs of each individual, since what calms one person may disturb another. When tailored to the child, sensory play can improve attention, coordination and mood, helping connect them to other people and the wider world.
Spending time outside is proven to have a positive impact on mood as well as provide a good opportunity for physical exercise. Team sports can be a good opportunity to build social skills, and some groups have taken steps to create autism-friendly teams. Gardening is another way to encourage sensory engagement.
These are just a few of the recreational activities you may want to consider for children with autism in Buckinghamshire. An organization such as https://www.myfamilyourneeds.co.uk/ also offers targeted support and events. Whilst the most appropriate activities will vary between individuals, recreation should be seen as an opportunity to improve skills, reduce agitation and distress, and create a more positive atmosphere for children.