Do you wonder about sensory activities for autism? Moreover, would you like to know what they are? Or what activities children or adults with autism enjoy?
Sensory activities pay extra attention to the senses. That is due to the overlap between sensory overload and autism. In addition, for children with autism, special sensory activities are often called sensory-friendly. The “friendly” aspect makes these activities easier for autistic children. They are easier to attend. In addition, they are easier to participate in. Therefore, this makes these activities enjoyable both for the child and their families.
Furthermore, parents search for sensory-friendly activities for their child with autism.
Sensory-friendly describes the way the sensory experience is adapted. Friendly experiences happen at a location. Alternatively, they happen at an event. In particular, the sensory experience is purposefully changed. For example, a sensory-friendly activity reduces noise levels. Background music is turned down or off. In addition, bright lights are also turned down or off. These adjustments make the environment comfortable for people with sensory issues or sensory sensitivity.
Three examples of sensory activities for autism are:
- sensory-friendly movies,
- relaxed performances, and,
- autism hour for shopping.
Learn more in this blog post with information about sensory-friendly movies. Accordingly, these are special movie events where the house lights in the theatre are on. But the soundtrack volume in the movie is turned down. “Lights up, sound down” is the key feature. Usually, you can expect other accessibility changes too.
Relaxed performances in theatres are a great example of a sensory activity for autism. For example, during a sensory-relaxed theatre performance, house lights are left on. That is similar to the sensory-friendly movies. Moreover, there are no spotlights or other bright lights during the show. Additionally, performers prepare for a noisier audience. The performers know that children may move around more during the show. For more ideas on what gets included in a relaxed performance, read about relaxed performances.
InterAction Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada gave the first sensory-friendly performance in that city in November 2018.
Have you heard about Sensitive Santa events at a shopping mall? Unlike regular visiting times, only a small number of parents and children meet Santa. Furthermore, these times often occur by appointment only. The child thus has plenty of time to become comfortable. Children can take their time to feel well-adjusted to the environment.
Some malls offer a Sensory Friendly Easter Bunny too! Learn what they should do.
Finally, many stores and shopping malls offer autism hour or sensory-friendly shopping times.
Other Sensory-friendly locations.
In addition, many sports arenas and tourist attractions provide a sensory backpack or sensory kit to visitors. A sensory backpack or sensory kit includes things like headphones and small fidget toys. Those tools help an autistic child cope. The headphones reduce noise and sound for children with sensory sensitivity. Whereas the fidget toys help a child remain calm and reduce anxiety.
Look for activities such as sensory-friendly yoga, offered by occupational therapist Lindsay Hall.
The following are examples of how other types of locations can become sensory-friendly:
Enjoy sensory-friendly events and places in your community and when you travel.
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