Are you still trying to figure out Activities for Autistic Teenager? Perhaps it has been a teeny bit challenging as these teenagers tend to keep themselves busy with their phones. And as parents, you would want them to get involved in exercise and other activities that strengthen your bond with them. Also, what if he/she is quite different from others and his/her needs are not that of a typical teen, because your child was diagnosed with Autism at a young age? Not to fret for there are a lot of activities that can actually be done. Several Activities for Autistic teenagers are listed below and the tools and products required can easily be found.
Indoor Activities for Autistic Teenager
Board Games Best Activities for Autistic Teenager
Staying indoors? Why not try these board games at home and play it ‘til your heart’s content. Surely, this is a good time to unwind and gather the whole family to play. These are games that families often turn to when boredom strikes. Perhaps this is the reason why they call it “Bored Games” (pun intended). These are the best activities for Autistic teenager because these games mainly help increase their waiting tolerance.
This classic game of Scrabble is an easy game for high functioning ones, especially those with exceptional ability in word-formation. This is an excellent game that fosters their concentration and decision making skills. The calculation of scores could also be done to teach mathematics.
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This game of chance is a fun and thrilling game. This game involves learning about different professions and also requires good decision-making skills. Thus, this game could be used for those exploring any area of interest in several professions.
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This fun and exciting game help stimulate the imagination as it involves having pretended play. It hones waiting and listening skills.
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Why not try this classic game that has been handed down from generation to generation. This would surely stir up competitiveness in Autistic teens.
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Who said that stacking could only be for the little ones? Well, let the stacking be improvised! The rules of the game could be tweaked to accommodate the specific need of these Autistic teens. Adding dares and conditions should do the trick! This tabletop game would immediately turn to a physical exercise if these rules are added.
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Reading a book
A good book is still a man’s best friend regardless of their age. It is a good pastime activity wherein one could find a good spot with proper lighting to concentrate well on the book. If your teen is interested in fiction books, he/she could try reading this Percy Jackson series. It is available in paperback or Kindle. Other book series can be found in Amazon as well.
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Cooking and Baking
When having bonded with the family, Meal preparation is still one of the best ways to gather everyone together. Teaching them these life skills is essential to increase their level of independence and of course, safety precautions need to be observed. Thus, these products are recommended:
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Creative Activities for Autistic Teenager
Teen coloring books are highly recommended as research says as it helps improve concentration and artistic abilities.
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The Painting will help improve eye contact and cognitive skills there are several paint sets available online and the painting can be done in freestyle or by number, which is very popular right now.
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Drawing is very important Activity for Autistic teenager as it allows to communicate their feelings which they struggle to express.
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Listening to music
Music helps regulate the brain’s activity and is found to be of much help to these individuals with Autism. Thus, listening to it frequently and with the right music played, it helps increase their behavior and function. Playing it in the background while doing other chores is good, so a good wireless speaker should come in handy.
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Outdoor Activities for Autistic Teenager
Which sports are best for autism?
Sports have proven to be effective in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Involving in sports not only helps them cope with their general health and well-being, but it also helps them cope with sensory processing issues and eventually a change in social adaptation.
Considering their skill sets and behavior, they are encouraged to be involved in individual sports. These types of sports do not require much social communication and there is lesser demand placed in their sensory systems when engaged in them.
Although multiple sensory systems are still activated and sports events may seem too much to process, these Autistic teens can have interventions that focus on the desensitization of sensory systems to avoid sensory meltdowns.
Swimming one of the best Activities for Autistic Teenager
Swimming is the number one choice of people with Autism. A vast majority of them enjoy playing with water and being in pools ever since they were young.
Because of this, they are 160 times more prone to drowning (THE KEY BENEFITS OF SWIMMING FOR CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM, n.d.). With this increasing concern, it is much better to allow these kids to join swimming classes and learn the sport.
After all, a vast number of research studies have proven swimming’s effectiveness in improving sensory processing, concentration, social behavior and cognitive function. Significant improvements have been observed due to the systematic and rhythmic movements done under the water.
Thus, providing the right amount of pressure to the body significantly gives a calming effect. It is a good physical exercise as well because the muscles of the body are activated all at once. Although some may have difficulty with motor planning or coordination, this can still be addressed by using swimming as an intervention tool.
Track and Field
Another sport to try is track and field. This is a good avenue to release all those excess energies most especially to those dealing with hyperactivity.
This also improves concentration for they have a fixed goal of getting to the finish line while staying on their track. Furthermore, just like any other sport, it burns those excess calories and keeps the heart working.
Some people might ask if cycling could be a good fit for autistic teens when balance and coordination are some of their problems. However, a study done in 2015 involving eight children with Autism, shows that physical stability can be improved by regularly training in a no-pedal balance bike.
This goes on to say that regular practice yields good results. Not only does it improve overall heart function, but it improves motor skills and increases self-confidence in these teens (Mortkowitz, 2019).
More so, it helps increase awareness of their surroundings as they have to be well aware of their depth perception and safety. They also love the spinning of the wheels so this would be a perfect activity to incorporate that!
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Horseback Riding very important Activities for Autistic Teenager
Individuals with Autism are known for having improvements when they are given opportunities to bond with animals. Several studies show that their emotional regulation and behavior improve when given animal therapy.
Thus, horseback riding is a good sport to try. This helps improve social communication and engagement. In fact, Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned professor with Autism, was a horseback rider herself and made a friend named Carol because of their shared interest in horses (How horses helped a teenager with autism rise to become a professor, 2019).
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Martial arts is a sport that focuses on discipline and repetition of movements. This is an advantage for people with Autism as they do have issues with repetitive motor behavior or stereotypies.
Doing these training exercises are both predictable and rhythmic. Thus, it decreases anxiety levels and promotes good work behavior.
A study done in Iran through the use of martial arts had found that stereotypies in these children greatly decreased (BENEFITS OF MARTIAL ARTS FOR KIDS WITH AUTISM, 2019).
In these classes, they could also learn that these exercises that they learn can only be used for the good and not the harm, meaning, their social awareness greatly improves as well.
Activities for high functioning Autistic adults
There is a variety of activities that can be chosen by adults with Autism. Though they may have special needs, they still are capable of doing what typical adults do. Partying and clubbing may not be a good choice for them as this may overwhelm them but there are other activities to choose from. Here are some examples of those activities that they could try to explore.
A number of these people are musically inclined and are prodigies in this area. They are phenomenal in singing and are known to be one of the best singers in town.
Susan Boyle, a semi-finalist in Britain’s Got Talent, is a successful professional singer who had caught the world’s attention, was diagnosed with Autism.
Kodi Lee both blind and with Autism, had extraordinary singing and piano skills that caused him to catch the heart of the audience and become the grand winner of America’s Got Talent 2019.
A dance party is also a good choice. Being a professional or a newbie does not matter. There are no rules for dancing. The only rule here is to keep your body working even if you do have those two left feet.
Exergaming is a very important Activity for Autistic Teenager
This is the doing of a physical exercise using a video game. This is very helpful to those who are not able to go out of their houses often to do physical activity and yet desire to stay fit. This could be done through the use of a Nintendo Wii or a Kinect.
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Board and Card Games
A game of chess, Scrabble, Chinese checkers, Monopoly and etc. are games made for all ages. It’s better to keep oneself busy with these as compared to lying in bed for the whole day!
Do It Yourself Crafts
People with Autism have fantastic ideas that could only be expressed through building things so this is one avenue that could be explored.
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Related Article: Signs of High Functioning Autism in Adults
Activities for low functioning Autistic adults
Low functioning adults with Autism have very different ways of understanding and processing information. They are also called Level 3 Autism or as the DSM 5 calls it, requiring very substantial support.
These individuals have difficulty coping up on their own, thus, they need caregivers who look after them. They have prominent stereotypies and some have difficulty processing environmental stimuli. But in spite of these present challenges, they are still well able to do activities and need repetition and visual cues.
With the appropriate volume and song choice, Level 3 Autistic adults can participate in dance activities. Songs should preferably be the type of music that they usually listen to. This could be done simply by demonstrating in front of them and asking them to mirror the moves that the presenter is doing.
Arts and Crafts
Simple arts and craft activities can still be done such as finger painting, structured coloring, cutting, stacking or gluing. These do not just only produce outputs that could increase their self-esteem but these also provide sensory-rich input to their bodies. Displaying their artworks is a good example of promoting awareness as well.
Not only could the high-functioning adults do this, but even the low-functioning ones. As long as the movements, instructions and assistance are demonstrated well and are readily available, they are able to do activities using the Nintendo Wii and Kinect.
Catch and throw
This may sound very simple but for them, this is very enjoyable. This is yet another way to keep them busy. They actually delight in doing this activity over and over again. The activity is very predictable and provides an opportunity to bond with the caregiver.
Doing simple household chores
Allowing them to participate in household chores helps activate their brain centers and increase their independence. Tasks such as putting the laundry and operating a washing machine could be done as long as visual cues are given for them to follow.
Sweeping, mopping the floor, sandwich making, dishwashing and the like could easily be done by them.
Jogging Is very important Activity for Autistic Teenager
Doing three laps every morning is very helpful for these adults and it keeps them healthy and fit.
Activities for NonVerbal Autistic teenager
Exploring activities for these non-verbal teens with Autism should not be difficult despite their inability to produce speech well.
It is not an impedance from them wanting to contribute to the people around them. Their helpful and caring hearts have much to show and share. They are great helpers not just at home, but in school and the community as well.
Basic living skills such as doing household chores is the easiest way to keep them preoccupied. There are a lot of things that could be done at home that can be assigned to them. Establishing this as a daily routine helps lessen the workload and instills responsibility in them.
Engaging them in music classes with the instrument of their choice aids them in expressing their thoughts and feelings way better than they do with words. Being engrossed in producing music becomes a getaway for them from all the noise and stressors they encounter every day.
Gardening teaches these teens the value of cultivating and waiting. It teaches them that some things in life do not emerge right away but a process must first take place to bring out the beauty in these things.
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People with Autism are experts at solving very difficult and challenging puzzle pictures. They are able to do these things naturally and love to do the assembling them again and again.
Conclusion on Activities for Autistic Teenager
From the beginning of preschool, a diversity of activities was given by parents just to teach concepts and skills to their children. Having received the diagnosis of Autism at this early stage may have been shocking and difficult to accept initially.
However, as the child grows up, acceptance starts to sink in and little things are now being appreciated. An assortment of activities and intervention would be given for the sake of their child’s well-being. And that as their children reach adulthood, they would have the necessary skills by then. Otherwise, they would be sedentary adults in need of much support and assistance.
Therefore, activities should be both fun and engaging for the parents and the teens alike. It is during this engagement that an emotional bond is formed and the relationship is strengthened.
With this, one gets to understand the needs and ways of the other. Emotional experiences are being shared and are inculcated in each other’s memories. Joy and love are cultivated in the relationship and stressors are released. The strain in the parent-child relationship would be lifted, resulting in harmonious family life.
In conclusion, healthy family relationships do not occur in an instant. There must be a proactive engagement from all members. This is done by spending time and interacting with one another through the use of activities. So you see, regardless of the type of activity as long as interaction is encouraged, connections are made and relationships are fortified. In this article we Covered Several Activities for autistic teenagers please share with others.
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References on Activities for Autistic Teenager
Andrew L. Shim, Sean Peterson & Jan Turbes (2016) Incorporating a Pedal-less Bicycle Curriculum into a K–5th Grade After-school Program to Improve Stability for ASD Children, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 87:3, 52-54, DOI: 10.1080/07303084.2016.1131555
Bittner, M., Mcnamara, S., Goudy, L., Adams, D., & Dillon, S. R. (2018, Winter). EXERCISE IDENTIFIED AS AN EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE FOR STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER. Palaestra, 32(1), 15+. Retrieved from https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A540209450/GPS?u=phvelez&sid=GPS&xid=5124297b
De Vries, D., Beck, T., Stacey, B., Winslow, K., & Meines, K. (2015). Music as a therapeutic intervention with autism: A systematic review of the literature. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 49(3), 220+. Retrieved from https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A426034915/GPS?u=phvelez&sid=GPS&xid=e83d5f92
BENEFITS OF MARTIAL ARTS FOR KIDS WITH AUTISM. (2019, August 20). Retrieved from Century Martial Arts: https://blog.centurymartialarts.com/benefits-of-martial-arts-for-kids-with-autism
Gongala, S. (2019, May 21). 21 Interesting And Fun Activities For Teenagers With Autism. Retrieved from Mom Junction: https://www.momjunction.com/articles/activities-for-teenagers-with-autism_00371127/
How horses helped a teenager with autism rise to become a professor. (2019, July 7). Retrieved from Horsetalk.co.nz: https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2019/07/07/horses-teenager-autism-professor/
How Swimming Therapy Can Help Children with Autism. (n.d.). Retrieved from We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym: https://www.werockthespectrumkidsgym.com/swimming-is-a-great-form-of-therapy-for-children-on-the-spectrum/
How Your Autistic Child Can Benefit from Equine Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation: https://myasdf.org/media-center/articles/how-your-autistic-child-can-benefit-from-equine-therapy/
Mische-Lawson, L., Cox, J., & Foster, L. (2013, March). The sensory supported swimming program for children with autism spectrum disorders: well-designed and implemented recreation programs can help children with autism to experience the many benefits of engaging in physical activity. The Exceptional Parent, 43(3), 42+. Retrieved from https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A351950431/GPS?u=phvelez&sid=GPS&xid=626df30d
Mortkowitz, S. (2019, April 11). How Cycling Helps Children with Autism. Retrieved from We Love Cycling: https://www.welovecycling.com/wide/2019/04/11/how-cycling-helps-children-with-autism/
Sinclaie, J. (2018, January 27). 20 Ideal Hobbies, Activities and Sports for People with Autism. Retrieved from Autistic and Unapologetic: https://autisticandunapologetic.com/2018/01/27/20-ideal-hobbies-activities-and-sports-for-people-with-autism/
THE KEY BENEFITS OF SWIMMING FOR CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM. (n.d.). Retrieved from Texas Swim Academy: https://texasswimacademy.com/the-key-benefits-of-swimming-for-children-on-the-autism-spectrum/#page
Warber, A. (n.d.). Activities for Autistic Adults. Retrieved from Love to Know: https://autism.lovetoknow.com/Activities_for_Autistic_Adults
Why Track & Field Can Be Good For Autistic Children. (2017, September 15). Retrieved from Be the Best Sport: https://bethebestsport.org/why-track-field-can-be-good-for-autistic-children/