When we tell you to think of a childhood memory while playing, we are sure you would have at least one where you are up on the swings or running around in the playground with your friends. Today, as you become parents, you must have witnessed kids these days are more into mobile games and stay indoors.
While parents are trying their best to send them out to the ground to feel the essence of climbing the monkey bars, singing up to the sky, and playing outdoor games. And if you are parents to an autistic child, we get it; a park must be a new worry. But don’t worry, we have developed some tips to make your autistic child comfortable in the playgrounds amongst an unknown group.
Tips on preparing your child for playground visits
Autism therapy works for the best interests of your child. As parents, you may want to try out new things under the doctor’s supervision with your child to make him comfortable with the environment. So, when you plan to take your kids to a park, here is how you can prepare them:
- Let them know what to expect
One of the best ways to prevent any anxiety in the open area is to ensure that the child knows what he will see in the park. You can show them pictures of the commercial playground equipment and videos of how children play with each other. It helps them retain some images in their mind, and when they see those things as real, they are not intimidated. In addition, you can tell them about other things such as things they will smell, feel, hear, and how long you plan to stay.
- Discuss the rules
It is necessary to discuss the park rules well in advance. If your child is developmentally able, you should set some rules to ensure their safety. The regulations include staying within the vision, a codeword for calling for help, being aware of dogs and other animals, etc. The rules and the way you put them out to your kids depend on the relationship you share. Ensure that you repeat the rules even when you visit the park to aware the child.
- Facilitate their play
When you enter the ark, do not abandon your child. You must ensure that you stay with them and facilitate their play. Ensure that when they step up on the mini-merry go round, you are there with them and do it together. You can also start introducing them to some new kids. For instance, you can approach another child and introduce them to your kid. You can also request them if they’d like to play together.
Give them the required space.
Autistic kids love to take their time to settle into new spaces, among new people, and in a unique social setting. So, it is your responsibility to give them the required room. Let them explore their way in the playground. You must keep checking their activity and allow them to do things their way. You can also suggest some activities by asking if they would like to do a certain thing or try a new swing in the playground.
Being parents to an autistic child brings you new experiences every day. You know their strengths, so you want them to get as comfortable in a social setting as possible. A playground is a good place to help them develop and refine their skills.