Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Taking Sensory Development Outside
Going outdoors can be a great adventure for anyone of any age as there is so much to do and to get involved with. For children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) there can be some significant benefits because it can aid with sensory development as they can examine, interact and explore with the environment.
Going for a walk through a local park or even bushland and being able to smell the difference fragrances from flowers and plants, holding branches or leaves and feeling the different textures is a great experience plus an ideal form of cardiovascular exercise.
Kicking a soccer or football, throwing and catching a tennis ball or passing a rugby ball are all perfect ways to help develop coordination. Often if your child is undertaking any form of occupational therapy many of these activities can assist with the program.
Some parks also have animals that can be fed such as ducks or even fish if there is a lake. Even down at the beach you are sure to encounter seagulls that will be hungry and this can be a great way to interact with wildlife. If at the beach, the added benefit is the interaction with the salt water, the sand as well as being out in the sun. Being able to build sand castles is also a great activity and allows the imagination to be applied as they construct their creation.
Always be conscious of the abilities of your child and adjust the activity accordingly. Also, as they may be easily distracted or just curious, they may find dangerous situations in the most placid of places so of course you need to keep your eye on them all the time. In some cases and depending on your child, you may even be able to use these circumstances to teach and raise their awareness of dangerous and safety issues when outdoors.
The outdoors is a fun place to be and it is full of textural and sensory things to explore.