What are the best after school activities for autistic children?

United States
February 26, 2007 8:57am CST
Does your child (on the autism spectrum)participate in any after school activities like sports (which one?), scouts, or community events? Is the activity just for special needs children or integrated?
3 people like this
4 responses
@lisado (1228)
• United States
26 Feb 07
From what I have seen, the sports and such at the school aren't geared toward special needs kids. Zack isn't in any sports or anything. He hasn't shown interest in anything in particular. He doesn't care for swimming or pets (they have horseback riding programs and such) and doesn't care to be around groups of people, especially other kids. He gets aggitated and wants to leave. He cries and fights. He does good one on one, with adults, but that's about it. We have talked about trying to get him into something, but he fights anything we try, so we don't push since he fights harder the harder we try to get him involved. If he is interested in something on his own we pursue it, but so far we haven't had much luck.
3 people like this
• United States
13 Mar 07
My son is involved with 2 main things.. Karate - he attends a small class with neurotypical children that are slightly younger than he is. The teacher to student ratio is very high and they are aware of his needs. If he gets overwhelmed they take him into the other room and give him a private lesson but most days he does the class with the kids. Surfing - this is a special program for autistic children.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Mar 07
I think the key is to find something the child already loves (and most kids on the autism spectrum have SOMETHING they are passionate about!) and then guide them into an activity that has something to do with that. For instance, if your child loves things that have to do with science, enroll him in the afterschool Mad Science club! Some park districts also offer programs especially for kids with special needs. Where I live, kids with special needs have the choice of joining a special program, or having an aide from the special program go with them to the regular program.
2 people like this
• Canada
14 Mar 07
My son currently goes to a very un-structured after school 'drop in' program. For him, it works because there are little expectations on him. The more that is expected of him, the more anxious he becomes. By going to the drop-in, he gets to be social, and has a wide variety of choices for play. The only rules pertain to being safe and keeping others safe. Otherwise, he can snack whenever, play whatever is around, aand generally make his own choices. It gives him a good opportunity to be social and relaxed. the program is run by the Boys and Girls Club, and has both NT kids and other special needs kids.
• United States
27 Apr 07
Danny just started this year (1st grade). There was an after school arts & crafts time with the same teacher he has for his regular class. I figured that would be some familiarity and make it easier for him to flow with a change in the schedule. He did beautifully. Last year and the beginning of this year, he had issues when his sister stayed for after-school programs. For a while I had to pick him up at school because he wouldn't ride the bus without her. Then when he got over that he would come off the bus stating he had "lost" her. So him being able to handle this is a huge bit of progress. I don't think he could handle sports, so in the fall I am going to try him in karate. I think he will like it. That's not in the school, so it will really be unfamiliar.