Whether it’s sports or scouts, community or religious organizations, encouraging your child’s participation is important to his or her development. Being involved and committed to such activities helps a child explore his or her own identity while receiving the acceptance he or she often craves from peers who have common interests. Joining and participating in extracurricular activities helps kids explore their physical, creative, and social potential. It helps them build independence, develop skills, explore career interests, as well as raise self esteem. Volunteer work allows children to experience how their time, talent, and effort benefit those in need.
Recreation is about activities and experiences which produce feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction. They give all of us opportunities to express creativity, achieve and master new skills. Recreation can be particularly important for people with autism, drawing on opportunities to practice social skills, physical aptitude and increase motivation. These activities can provide the basis for increased self-confidence for your child. Participation in recreation and leisure activities allows individuals with autism to learn skills specific to a particular sport or activity. But more importantly, participation in these programs also helps improve more general skills that can be applied in settings like school and work. So progress can be seen not just in the specific programs, but in other areas of life as well.