Now that the colder weather is here and more time is spent indoors, it is a good idea to explore some arts and crafts activities. Depending on the type of activity that you plan and organize, you will be glad to know that many autistic children actually enjoy and welcome these activities.
When trying to organize an arts and crafts activity, the first thing you need to do is to assess your child’s interest. You need to take into account what he likes and what he is interested in. If your child is interested in cars and trains, use this as a way to get him interested in your planned activity. For example, if you have planned a coloring activity, give him images of cars and trains for him to color.
When planning the activities, you also need to take into consideration your child’s level and capabilities. Do not give him any activity that you know he will have difficulty in. For younger children, always choose simple projects that do not require complicated instructions. This will keep your child encouraged to proceed with the activity and will not cause him to get frustrated. Some simple activities would include cut and paste, coloring, etc. You can increase the difficulty level of the activity when you feel that your child is feeling more confident in what he is doing.
Another thing that you need to remember is that autistic children like to engage in repetitive behaviors and this is true even when they play. For example, an autistic child who is playing with cars will opt to line them up instead of moving them around just like other children do. Take this into consideration when you choose activities.
You also need to remember that autistic children have a small tolerance level for social interaction so it is best that you keep your activities individually. While activities such as creating a group collage will encourage your child to mingle and interact with others, you should consider whether your child will be comfortable in such situations. Keep in mind that activities which involve social interaction may be tolerated but only for a brief period of time.