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Movement is Key to Autistic Playtime

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Children with autism, like any other children, like to play. But oftentimes, the type of play they enjoy can be different from that of other children, based on the different types of autism, and needs of each child. One study shows that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to gravitate toward games that stimulate the senses and provide a lot of movement.

The study set up different play options, and observed children with ASD at play to see which activities were most appealing to them. The most popular play activities for autistic children were a stair-climbing exhibit, a windmill, and a table filled with rice.

The children chose to engage in play that provided strong sensory feedback, cause-and-effect results, and repetitive motions. The activities they chose engaged the vestibular and proprioceptive senses, the senses which help us keep our balance, and allow our joints respond to movement and pressure. Children with autism tend to crave motion, and if they can’t be moving, they like to look at moving objects.

Knowing how it is that autistic children like to play, and what they like to play with, can be helpful in incorporating such sensory activities for autistic children into classrooms and playgrounds and after-school activities. But even more so, getting such activities out there will help encourage interaction between autistic children and their peers, as children with ASD often struggle with social interactions. Helpful research also found here:

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