Being a parent of an autistic child can be challenging at times.
However, it's important to find activities that you and your child can enjoy together. Here are 40 of the best hobbies you and your child could start doing together.
- Reading books together
- Building with Legos or blocks
- Playing with puzzles
- Doing arts and crafts
- Playing board games
- Going on nature walks
- Visiting museums
- Playing with sensory toys
- Doing yoga or meditation together
- Playing with musical instruments
- Cooking or baking together
- Going to the movies
- Playing video games together
- Going to the zoo or aquarium
- Playing with playdough or slime
- Going on bike rides
- Doing science experiments
- Playing with water toys in the pool or bath
- Going to the beach
- Doing karaoke or singing together
- Playing with toy cars or trains
- Going to amusement parks or fairs
- Doing gardening or planting activities
- Going on train rides
- Playing with toy animals or figurines
- Going to the library
- Doing sensory activities, such as finger painting or sand play
- Playing dress-up or make-believe
- Going to the park or playground
- Doing puppet shows or storytelling
- Playing with building sets, such as K'Nex or MagnaTiles
- Going to petting zoos or farms
- Doing scavenger hunts or treasure hunts
- Playing with bubbles or balloons
- Going on picnics
- Doing magic tricks or illusions
- Playing with RC cars or planes
- Going to concerts or music festivals
- Doing role-playing games
- Playing with dolls or action figures
It is important to remember that not all of these activities will be suitable for every child with autism. It is important to find activities that your child enjoys and feels comfortable with. You may need to try a few different activities before finding the right fit.
In addition, it is important to keep in mind your child's sensory needs. Some children with autism may be sensitive to certain textures or sounds, while others may seek out sensory input. Be sure to choose activities that are appropriate for your child's needs.
Activities To Avoid
While it is important to find activities that your autistic child enjoys, it is equally important to avoid activities that may cause them distress or discomfort.
Some activities may be overwhelming for children with autism, such as large crowds or loud noises. Here are some activities and hobbies to avoid with an autistic child:
- Attending crowded events or concerts
- Going on roller coasters or other intense rides at amusement parks
- Watching scary movies or TV shows
- Participating in team sports that require a lot of social interaction
- Going on long car trips without frequent breaks
- Attending events where there will be flashing lights or loud music
- Visiting places with strong smells, such as perfume shops or candle stores
It is important to note that each child with autism is unique and may have different sensitivities and preferences. As a parent, you know your child best and should make decisions about what activities are appropriate for them based on their individual needs and interests.
Helping Your Child Choose A Hobby
Choosing a hobby can be an overwhelming task for anyone, including children with autism. As a parent, you can help guide your child in finding activities that they enjoy and feel comfortable with. Here are some tips on how to help your child choose a hobby:
- Observe your child's interests: Pay attention to the things that your child is naturally drawn to and enjoys doing. These can give you clues about what types of hobbies they may be interested in.
- Take into account their strengths: Consider your child's strengths and talents when helping them choose a hobby. If they are good at building things, for example, they may enjoy hobbies such as constructing models or building with Legos.
- Consider their sensory needs: Some children with autism may have sensory sensitivities that make certain activities uncomfortable or overwhelming for them. Take this into account when helping your child choose a hobby.
- Start small: Introduce new hobbies gradually and start with simple activities before moving on to more complex ones. This can help build confidence and prevent overwhelm.
- Be patient: It may take time for your child to find a hobby that they truly enjoy, so be patient and keep trying different activities until you find the right fit.
Remember, the goal is not necessarily to find the "perfect" hobby for your child but rather to help them explore different interests and develop new skills while having fun.
Finally, it is important to have fun! Spending time with your child can be a great way to bond and create lasting memories. By finding hobbies and activities that you both enjoy, you can build a stronger relationship and help your child develop new skills.