10 Effective Physical and Mental Activities for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders – Dr Himani Narula Khanna
Many children with autism spectrum disorders have lower fitness levels due to a poor balance of body coordination, visual-motor control, and other mobility skills. Physical activity programs for children and youth with autism have produced a variety of benefits, some of which include improved motor skills, skill-related fitness, social functioning, and muscular strength and endurance. According to research, children who participated in physical activity programs designed for children with autism showed significant improvements in their social and communication skills.
Some of the activities that can be included are horseback riding, various types of group games, running/jogging programs, some basic skills such as running, throwing, catching can be started in the early grades followed by training programs. personalized physical activity based on individual needs and goals.
Here are 10 physical activities for children with autism spectrum disorders.
Walk to school or walk the dog
Make trips to playgrounds a regular activity
Encourage the child to run, jump, hop, hop, etc.
Can introduce equipment such as balls, bats, racquets (throwing, catching, kicking, hitting, etc.)
Introduce physical activity like Hurdle cross (6-8 inch obstacle), Bear Crawl, overhead ball throw, resistance band rotation side to side, burpees, Star Jumps, etc. these exercises can have 5 to 10 repetitions of each. These activities help develop listening skills, discrimination between movements and cues, and balance.
Individual sports like swimming, gymnastics, jogging can help with an integrated sensory system, developing a routine and better physical endurance.
Group sports like table tennis, long tennis, baseball, basketball, etc. can help the child develop better social skills, help him make friends and feel more confident.
YOGA can be a great way to help the child learn good balance, coordination, following instructions and flexibility.
Can introduce social skills training during sport where good behaviors can be positively reinforced
Dancing can be a unique way where the child will learn to start and stop on cues, take turns and it can be a very enjoyable activity as children with ASD love music.
Physical activities not only help a child develop motor balance, coordination, strength and endurance, but they also build confidence, make the child happy and are very important for good mental health.
Here are 10 mental or cognitive activities that can help a child’s cognitive development:
1) Matching objects,
2) Look for the difference,
3) Count the objects,
4) Puzzles, 1-5 piece puzzles, repair puzzles, puzzles
5) Play with building blocks, help the child to build,
7) Sorting by color, shape, sizes,
9) Lost and found,
10) Match 2D images with 3D shapes etc.
These mental activities can improve perception, thinking, memory, attention, language, problem solving, and learning. Most importantly, all of these physical and mental activities help the child bond with the caregiver, understand the rules of games, learn to share and take turns, understand social cues, and make friends. , reduce anxiety and become happier. and more accepted.
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