Guide to Safe Outdoor Play for Children with Autism
As a parent, you know how important it is for your child to get active outdoors. But as the parent of a child with autism, you also know that the outdoors can be a dangerous place. From overstimulation to wandering and elopement, the great outdoors comes with concerns that leave parents of autistic children on edge. Instead of letting those worries keep your child indoors, use these resources to get your child outside ‑ safely!
The Benefits of the Outdoors
Time outdoors is good for all children, but it brings especially important benefits for children on the autism spectrum.
- Outdoor play benefits attention, coordination, mood, and more in kids.
- Getting outside is also good for sleep, something many children with autism struggle with.
- The natural world is also full of learning opportunities for children with autism.
Outdoor Safety for Children with Autism
Before your child can enjoy the great outdoors, you need to make it a safe place for play. These resources will help parents keep their children safe outside.
- Safety starts in the backyard. Create a safe and sensory-friendly place for outdoor play.
- Additionally, parents should install fencing to prevent wandering and elopement.
- When playing in the neighborhood, Autism Speaks explains special precautions will keep your child safe.
Fun (and Safe!) Outdoor Activities for Your ASD Child
Once you’ve made it safe, experiment to find outdoor activities that engage your child. These are safe, fun, and sensory-friendly activities that your child is sure to love.
- Observing wildlife is a great way to connect with nature. Redfin’s guide explains how to view nature in your own backyard.
- Alternatively, create your own nature area with a DIY fish pond.
- Always keep water safety in mind.
- For active play, try outdoor games that improve your child’s social and physical skills.
- Learn how to manage tantrums and meltdowns.
Getting your child outside safely doesn’t have to be a challenge. While parents of children with autism have extra considerations to make before venturing into the great outdoors, there’s lots you can do to make outside a safe and stimulating place for your child to spend time. Use these ideas to jumpstart your outdoor exploration and watch your child blossom.
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