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4 fun ways to teach new skills this summer

autism parenting education public outings Jun 27, 2022

The summer is nearly halfway over. If you're like me, you're just now coming up for air after a busy school year and feeling like a bit of a failure. 

Fear not! I have four fun ways you can help your student build new academic and social skills.

1. Go to the movies. After a couple of years of low attendance due to COVID, nearly every movie theater chain in America is offering extremely cheap summer showings for kids, some as low as $1.50. This is an excellent opportunity because it eliminates the pressure to "get your money's worth." Most kids who are severely affected by autism can only last 10-15 minutes at first. If that only costs a few bucks, it relieves financial anxiety and frees you to create a positive experience. Plus, when the entire theater is filled with kids, your kid can make stimming noises without disturbing others.

2. Go out to eat. The best way to begin building restaurant skills to is start at a donut or ice cream shop. The limited choices, quick service and washable surfaces are perfect for nonverbal diners. And without school to rush off to, you can take your time and make it a positive experience.

3. Learn an alphabet floor puzzle. If your nonverbal kid can't speak or write, chances are they're great at puzzles. Floor puzzles are excellent teaching tools for active kids, because they don't require sitting at a table. This one is our favorite for ABCs and it's currently on sale at Amazon! If you're unsure if your child knows the alphabet, try a floor puzzle. If they put it together easily, they're ready to begin reading!

4. Take swimming lessons. Kids with autism are 160 times more likely to die from drowning than neurotypical kids. If you can afford adaptive swimming lessons, they are worth every penny. If you can't, many municipalities and private organizations offer scholarships for this need. Here in California, some counties offer this service through the state's First 5 program. Autism Speaks and The Autism Society also have scholarship programs for this need. I used the online search terms "autism swimming lesson scholarship" and found many resources.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and happy learning! =D

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