Children with autism are encouraged to engage in different types of play as it is considered the top means of promoting various aspects of development which they are generally lacking. Here are some of the key benefits of play on autistic children.
Play can Have Calming Effects
One of the key things that autistic kids struggle with is anxiety as well as the inability to manage their emotions. Engaging in specific play can have calming effects and help them manage emotions and encourage positive behaviour.There is a range of sensory toys for autism that are great when it comes to calming a child and making them feel a sense of relaxation and relief. Incorporating such toys in play can help an autistic child focus better while reducing restlessness, agitation and anxiety.
Autistic kids find it challenging to let their creativity surface, or be creative, owing to the various symptoms and conditions they struggle with. Nevertheless, frequent play is a great way to allow their creativity to improve.Whether they run around and play with friends, or sit and play with sensory toys, there is always a chance for creativity to develop and surface, even if it can take some time. The more it develops, the easier it gets for him/her to express themselves and deal with their surroundings better.
Encourages Physical Activity
A certain level of physical fitness is important in autistic kids in particular, as they engage in fewer social activities than normal. It is important to continuously develop gross motor skills in these children in order to stay physically fit.Moving around and playing is mostly important as it releases chemicals and hormones that create positive feelings. This, in other words means the more they engage in play, the better for them. Physical activity is always a great distraction and can reduce feelings of stress and worry.
Promote Social Skills
Play is a great way to help develop social skills in children naturally. Again, it is one of the crucial aspects that autistic kids struggle with, and so, allowing them to learn through play might be the most effective thing to do.Through play, there are high chances of them understanding and responding to speech and gestures, and interacting better. Eventually, they also learn to share toys and to give and take. Parents may want to sit and play with the child for a start, and gradually have siblings and other friends join in the play sessions.
Learning Cause and Effect
Play is a great tool for autistic kids to learn cause and effect. Again, autistic kids have a hard time understanding that actions have consequences. By engaging in play, they gradually learn the concept. Simple things such as pressing a button for music to play, or pulling back a car to make it move forward gives them tons of learning about the little things in life. It also helps them develop a sense of control and responsibility. This can have chain effects, the most crucial one being a decrease in impulsive behaviour and tantrums.