Monthly Archives: July 2019

Summer Activities That Are Fun, Education and Social

The weather is warm, school is out and there is a multitude of fun to be had! Make the most of summer break by helping your child on the spectrum have fun and learn new things.

1. Enjoy the Outdoors – The sun is out, it’s warm outside, so why not enjoy outdoor activities. Enroll your child in swim lessons; join sports camps or group activities. 

Encourage your child to participate in fun activities where they can meet new people and make new friends. If your child on the spectrum is hesitant to try something new, maybe one of their peers wants to join in the fun with them to make the transition a little less stressful for them. Your child may be more interested in an activity if they have a friend to team up with. Doing outdoor activities is a great way to spend quality time with your children and show the importance of physical fitness. Take an evening walk or bike ride with your child on the spectrum and explore the beauty of nature in your community. Make summer picnics in the park and read stories or watch your child enjoy the playground…the options are limitless.

2. Stimulate Your Child’s Creativity – There are many fun art projects and activities that your child with autism can participate in that allow them to be creative during their summer break. Depending on what your child is interested in, you can build models, paint paintings, go online and print free games, color in coloring books etc. Take advantage of some of the online resources available to come up with some fun art projects or experiments your child on the spectrum will enjoy To locate activities, search the internet using keywords like ‘children’s art activities’, “kid friendly science projects” etc. If your child with autism enjoys a more social environment, look up some local art classes for their age group and sign them up for art or pottery classes.

3. Plan Play Dates – Whether your child is in camp or at home, it is important for them to stay in touch with friends from the school year in order to maintain relationships and to continue to develop social skills. Plan dates in the park, at a playground, at each other’s homes…it doesn’t matter as long as they are interacting with each other. This allows them to play, have fun, work social skills, conflict interaction and more.

Summer camps, educational programs, and trips are also a great way for your child on the spectrum to spend time during their summer vacation. Don’t forget to enjoy the warm weather with your child as well with some relaxing and educational activities and games that are family friendly. It’s important for you as a parent to work with your child on the spectrum and prepare them for new experiences in a fun and personal way

Teach your child how to be kind to others.

Children want to be kind and helpful, but sometimes acts of kindness don’t come easy for children on the spectrum. It is important for you to set a good example for your child with autism, on how important it is to be kind to themselves and to others.

Here are some ways in which we feel your child with autism can learn acts of kindness from you:

1. Be a Good Role Model – When you say or do unkind things to other people your child with autism will learn to follow your example. Children pick these behaviors up quickly and learn that treating someone unfairly, demanding something from someone or calling someone names is acceptable behavior. Be a good role model to your child and always say kind things about yourself and others.

2. Read Stories of Kindness – Read stories about kindness and respect are also a great way to teach your child with autism that good things come to those to do good for others. It is also important to discuss how being kind makes the characters feel and to role play situations that appear in the stories. IT is also great to talk to your child about events in these stories and ask them what kind things they can think of doing if they were put in these situations and how they would want others to treat them.

3. Practice Acts of Kindness – Teach your child on the spectrum to help others, whether it be helping you clean around the house, or a neighbor carry something, or a friend with a project etc., teaching them to offer their help is a very important part of learning to be kind to others.

4. Be Kind to Yourself – Talk to your child with autism about what makes them happy and what they like to do, and make sure to set aside time for them to participate in activities they love. By doing show it will make them feel better about themselves, make them happy and decrease stress. When children are less stressed and happy, there is a better likelihood that they will help others achieve a sense of happiness.

5. Be Charitable – talk to your child with autism about how they can help on a large scale. Teach them about specific organizations and charities that fall into line with their interests. Explain to them the importance of helping others who can’t help themselves and explore the idea of volunteering for a charity or charity event/ This will teach your child that even a small amount of time and energy makes a big difference.
Being kind to yourself and others is an important part of living a happy and productive life. Modeling acts of kindness no matter how big or small and practicing kindness can help your child with autism to be humble, helpful and happy.

Happy 4th Of July!

Beautiful Minds Center knows that the 4th of July can be an exciting time and it can also be a scary time for children that have been diagnosed with autism. Along with family fun, games, barbecues and picnics, come fireworks, loud noises, and large crowds. It is important to prepare children on the spectrum for what to expect this upcoming 4th of July weekend. By following the tips below you can ensure to have a fun, stress free and happy 4th of July.
  1. Make sure your child on the spectrum knows what to expect: With some simple preparation you can decrease anxiety and stress on this wonderful day that brings family and friends together in celebration of our glorious nation. Be sure to talk to your child about what happens on the 4thof July. What food to expect, what noises to expect, the fact that there will be crowds, etc. Show them pictures or videos of firework displays. We recommend easing them into it. First with the volume off, then the volume low and finally (when they are ready for it), in full volume, so that they are not surprised when they hear/see them live. If you child still has a hard time with the “BOOM” of the fireworks, be sure to take ear plugs or earphones with you to make their evening more enjoyable.
  2. Remind them that the celebration is meant to be FUN! – Get your child on the spectrum excited by showing them how excited you are about the celebration. Describe the many activities that you will be doing on that day, from barbequing, to spending time with family and friends, to going to see a firework show…whatever it is that you have planned, make sure they know what to expect. It is also a good idea to bring games, toys, snacks, and other activities with you in case your child gets antsy.
  3. Define their boundaries – Children who have been diagnosed with autism, may have a hard time dealing with large crowds, so it is important to set up boundaries. Some simple and easy ways to do this is to try to sit some distance from other people. Placing a blanket, chair, or towel on the ground will allow your child to claim their space and get comfortable in it. Make sure that your child’s safety is always a priority; remind them of your set of rules about running, leaving without telling a parent, and talking to strangers.
  4. Be aware of your child’s needs and when it’s time for a break – Whether your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, can ask you for a break, or not, be mindful of them and the possibility of experiencing sensory overload. Pay attention to your child’s body language and try providing them with a special signal, word, or image that lets you know it’s time to get away from the stimulation. By paying attention to your child’s needs you have the opportunity to prevent a meltdown.

 

Beautiful Minds Center wants to wish you all a very happy, safe, and stress free Independence Day weekend, filled with family, friends and happy children!