Enjoying Springtime Activities with your Child with ASD

Easter is something fun that can be challenging for a child with ASD. If you celebrate this holiday, it’s important to take some steps to make it fun for your child and not overwhelming.

  • Manage your own expectations. Especially if you have neurotypical children as well as a child with ASD, you may have a picture in your mind for how Easter is “supposed” to be. You may need to let that go, and just let it be what works best for your family.
  • The egg hunt can be altered to be ASD friendly.
    • If you’re going to an egg hunt with other families, practice ahead of time, explaining the rules.
    • Consider an egg hunt at home, limiting the eggs to just one or two colors.
    • Look for inclusive egg hunts in your area.
    • Be prepared to leave if your child isn’t into it or becomes overwhelmed.
    • Bring whatever your child might need to feel comfortable, whether it’s headphones, sunglasses, a snack, or some comfort item from home.
  • Be prepared to navigate social interaction, with a backup plan if it’s too much. Easter functions can involve big crowds and tons of other kids. Sometimes they can be rowdy and loud, and sometimes they might involve family gatherings with people who might not respect your child’s boundaries. Have a plan in place to make your child feel safe, even If that means leaving.

Of course, Easter isn’t the only thing going on in the spring. There are plenty of fun things to do with your children, and the key to managing spring activities is to understand and accommodate your unique child.

  • Playgrounds can provide exercise and socialization, but they can also be overwhelming. Observe the playground before you go, looking for times where the crowds aren’t heavy. Better yet, look for an inclusive playground.
  • Earth Day can be very meaningful, but it might be better to avoid festival crowds. Instead, do an Earth Day craft, plant a garden, or simply take a walk with your children.
  • Getting outdoors with your child with ASD can be great fun for both of you. Draw with sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles. Create an obstacle course in your yard, using household items like hula hoops and jump ropes, and letting your child help set it up.

If your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, STAR of CA is here to offer support. Founded in 2006, we provide behavioral and psychological services to people with ASD and related disorders in a nurturing environment that offers support for the entire family. You can contact us through our website or by calling 805.588.8896.