Monday, 30 August 2021

How our autistic family uses our garden

When the kids are home it can be hard to keep them entertained and regulated throughout the whole day.  We often try to just 'get out' to give a break from the device filled home. There are only so many indoor crafts and activities we can do such as baking or motorskills practice through sheets and various crafts

With some outside flood lights the garden can be accessible well into the evenings at the moment and there is an abundance of benefits to our kids in being out in the garden. 
Learning

Having our kids outside will give them the opportunity to play, engage their senses and it will allow them to develop their ability to learn and explore the world around them.  Structured classrooms work really well at school. but they need practice generalising their skills and developing their ability to learn in different places and different ways. What makes garden and outdoor play even more enticing is the fun they can have at the same time.

We've got a few garden toys, can find entertainment in watching insects or smelling the plants and often bring some 'inside toys' outside so there is an opportunity for them to expand their thinking. 

Being able to run more, jump, throw or kicks balls, pull and push toys, play catch and any other activities are all things to learn and master if they'd like to and often need communication to play successfully.  These activities not only helps them burn all that pent up energy they have but it also builds up their muscles, improves their cardiovascular fitness and improves their bone strength.

Relaxing 

With her naturally creative outlook on life, having Jane engage in garden play encourages both her imagination and creative side while giving her a chance to play with her brother too.  Chilling on the net swing with her brother is a wonderful way for them to relax together.  

We also have a lounge area under a pergola that provides comfy seats and shade to relax in.  Having space to chill is really important for all our kids and can be difficult inside our otherwise busy home.

Regulating 

Working through their sensory needs is a big thing for many autistic kids and ours use the garden for this all the time.  David can swing for ages on the net swing by himself just giggling away and setting his system straight.  Sand pits or soft cushions can help for those who need feedback and garden lights in the evening can be very calming too.  We also have a range of scented plants that the kids can smell and touch too. 

What benefits do you get out of the garden? 



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