Parents of children with autism know how challenging it can be to introduce new activities to their children. Here at Circle City ABA, we understand that children with autism often have difficulty with flexibility, communication, and sensory processing, making engaging in new or unfamiliar activities hard. However, introducing new activities can also be incredibly beneficial for children with autism, helping them learn new skills, improve their social interactions, and develop confidence and independence. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips and strategies for introducing new activities to children with autism in a fun, rewarding, and stress-free way.
Start with Familiar Activities
One of the most significant ways to help children with autism feel comfortable and confident with new activities is to start with things they already enjoy. For example, if your child loves drawing, you could introduce new art materials or techniques. If they enjoy playing with trains, add new tracks or train sets. Building on their interests can help your child feel more open to trying new things.
Use Visual Supports and Social Stories
Children with autism often benefit from visual support and social stories to help them understand what to expect from a new activity. For example, you can create a social story that outlines the steps of the activity and includes pictures or drawings to help your child understand. You can also use visual schedules or checklists to help your child track what they need to do.
Focus on Sensory Preferences
Many children with autism have sensory preferences or sensitivities that can affect their enjoyment of new activities. For example, some children may be overloaded by bright lights or loud noises, while others may love the feel of different textures. By understanding your child’s sensory preferences, you can choose activities they will enjoy and feel comfortable with.
Keep It Short and Simple
When introducing new activities to children with autism, it’s important to start small and keep things simple. Try breaking the activity down into smaller, more manageable steps rather than overwhelming your child with prolonged, complicated activity. Focus on just one or two key skills or concepts at a time, and give your child plenty of breaks and opportunities to process what they are learning.
Finally, it’s important to celebrate your child’s successes when introducing new activities. Even small steps forward should be acknowledged and praised. Celebrating success can help your child feel motivated and encouraged to continue trying new things.
Introducing new activities to children with autism can be challenging, but using some of these tips and strategies can make the process fun, rewarding, and stress-free. Remember to start with familiar activities, use visual supports and social stories, focus on sensory preferences, keep it short and simple, and celebrate successes. Taking it step by step can help your child develop new skills, improve social interactions, and build confidence and independence. Circle City ABA is here to support you on your autism journey. We’re always available to answer questions, discuss concerns, or workshop solutions to problems together. Please contact us to learn more about Circle City ABA and to start ABA Therapy services.