art therapy

Recreation is a critical tool for children with autism. It allows them to participate in things they enjoy and offers the chance to practice social skills, express themselves with creativity, and experience satisfaction. This article will cover everything you need to know about recreational therapy for children with autism.


What is Recreation?

Recreation is an activity a person completes when they are not working. This activity produces a feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment in a person, giving them the chance to achieve new skills and excitingly express creativity. 

The need to do something for fun is critical for all human beings. It helps us biologically and socially, allowing our bodies to relax and our brains to develop. If you don’t have a recreational activity you love, it’s tricky to find peace in the off moments.

Children with autism are like anyone else. It’s critical to provide them with the chance to access recreational opportunities.

Why Recreation is Important for Those With Autism

Recreation is critical for children with autism to experience. Not only does it allow for enjoyment, but it also improves the quality of life and opens up tons of opportunities.

Here are a few reasons why recreation is critical for those with autism:

  •     Skill practices: Recreations permits children with autism to practice skills and get better at them.
  •     Self-confidence: The more a child does something, the more confident they will become in their ability to take on the world.
  •     Inclusion: Children with autism can feel included when they take part in recreational activities like their peers.
  •     Quality of life: The more activities children with autism have to enjoy, the better their quality of life becomes.
  •     Satisfaction: When a child accomplishes a task, they can experience a feeling of satisfaction.
  •     Community: Children find a sense of community when they are around others who love the same activity.
  •     New friends: New recreation provides a chance to make new friends with people who share the same interest. There is always something to do.
  •     Mental and physical health: Fun activities provide the chance for improved mental and physical health.
  •     Reduced reliance: The more a child spends time on their activity, the less they must rely on their parents or caregivers.
  •     Increased opportunities: The less reliant a child with autism is on their parents, the more opportunities will open up in the future.


There are tons of benefits for children with autism who engage in recreation. 

Although it might seem scary to get started with recreational activities, there is so much to explore. Take it slowly and work with your child to determine what they enjoy and what pushes them too far out of their comfort zone. The more they can enjoy themselves and experience independence, the greater their quality of life.

It’s normal to have questions when considering recreational therapy for children with autism. Let’s answer a few of the most common.


Frequently Asked Questions about Recreation Activities for Children with Autism

How Do I Figure Out What My Child Enjoys?

Every kid is different, and it can be tricky to determine what a child with autism enjoys. We have a few tips and tricks that can help you determine what your kid might enjoy. These can make it less stressful to try something fun.

Here are a few ways you can determine what your child enjoys:

  •     Determine your kid’s skills and interests and work within them
  •     Allow your child to attempt multiple activities and determine if any of them click
  •     Teach your child skills to help them feel more confident, which will then allow them to be more interested in other activities
  •     Access technology to determine the proper choice


These should open up some avenues for your child.

There isn’t perfection in this process. The more you work with your child, the clearer their recreational activity preferences will be. There are tons of choices, so don’t give up if the first few choices don’t stick.


How Do I Deal With a Situation Involving Recreation That Goes Bad?

Not every situation with recreation will go perfectly, especially when starting out on your adventure. Sometimes, some situations might be tricky or uncomfortable and are impossible to change. It’s best to be aware that these things can happen, so you’re not surprised.

The best way to be ready is to plan ahead. You should have an alternate plan and be prepared to remove yourself from the situation if possible. It also helps to have other parents of children with autism close, ready to help based on their experience.

The more you venture out, the better you will get at handling these situations. The world is vast, and you can’t control everything.


What Are Some Examples of Recreational Activities for Children With Autism?

It can be tricky to determine where to start with recreational activities for children with autism. There is a world of things to do. We have a few examples of recreational activities for children with autism.

Here are a few examples of recreational activities for children with autism:

  •     Collecting: They can collect stamps, dolls, cars, and anything else that piques their interest.
  •     Art: Photography, painting, and drawing allow children with autism to express themselves.
  •     Sports: Track, skiing, and cycling are all excellent choices for kids with autism.
  •     Autism-specific sports: Children who need more assistance can get help in some communities with autism-specific sports.


These can bring new joy into a child’s world.

Start with one thing at a time and work your way through the options until you find something your child loves. The best thing to do is determine a category you want to work with, then find a niche. Once you have a winner, you and your child with autism can enjoy it together.


Recreational Therapies Ideas

If you’re interested in recreational therapy ideas, it can be tricky to find a place to start. Some activities seem a little boring, while others are far too much. We have a list of recreational therapy ideas that will satisfy your kid.

Here are a few ideas for recreational therapy children with autism can enjoy:


  •     Gardening
  •     Music
  •     Art
  •     Board games
  •     Solo and group sports
  •     Interacting with pets
  •     Dancing


Every child is different and will enjoy various activities in their free time.

You can work your way through one at a time or try multiple at once. You can also speak to local groups and locations that run the activities to determine what they think. Some recreational activities can occur from home, providing a chance to practice before taking the activity out to the public eye.


Final Thoughts

Recreational activities can improve your child’s life in a multitude of ways. Kids with autism can participate in gardening and music, improving their mental health and becoming part of a community. Although it might seem scary, recreational therapy is worth every second and penny for your child.

We hope this information was helpful, as recreational therapy is one of the best things you can do for a child with autism. The more they can get out into the world with an activity they enjoy, the better they will fare. Practice makes perfect – start slow and work your way into activities your child will fall in love with for life.



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.

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