Creativity plays a huge part in our everyday lives. We see it in the TV shows we watch, the art we hang on our walls and in the books we read. Furthermore, creativity plays an essential role in our personal development, especially within children. Being creative allows children to find new ways to express themselves, have fun and grow in confidence. It can even brighten their future career prospects.
Despite this, it is often implied that children with autism may lack creativity and imagination compared to their peers – this is untrue! In fact, children (and adults) with autism are often very creative, with many even pursing careers within the arts in later life. However, it is important to note that their creativity may manifest in different and unique ways, or they may find it harder to start being creative in the first place. This may mean that you need to find different ways to encourage creativity and imagination with your child.
At Alee Behavioral, we specialize in providing children with autism the resources they require to be successful both personally and professionally by offering a wide range of therapies at our Autism Clinic – from Speech Therapy to Applied Behavioral Analysis, as well as offering additional support to the children and their families. With this in mind, we have complied a short list of creative activities and games your child may enjoy.
Creative Activities for Children with Autism
1) Arts & Crafts
Children on the autistic spectrum often pay close attention to detail. They are also known for thinking outside the box! These skills often mean that children with autism are very good at art. So, find a medium of art that interests them – be that painting, coloring in or sketching and dedicate some time to being creative as a family.
Throughout the process, encourage them to use their imagination as a much as possible! There are no limits regarding the kind of work they should create. However, it is important that they understand that this should be fun. They don’t need to worry about what the final product will look like, and should instead enjoy the process of being creative.
Furthermore, children with autism may suffer from sensory issues- for example, they may not like the way a certain fabric feels. Encourage them to become more comfortable with different textures by creating a sensory collage made from a range of different materials.
2) Play some music
Children with autism sometimes struggle to process their emotions or express how they are feeling. Music is a great method of self-expression – whether they are playing music themselves or singing along to their favorite song. In addition, learning to play an instrument is a great way for children of all ages to express their creativity.
However, musical instruments, can be expensive. If this is out of your budget, you can still find a way to make music at home. Why not spend some time creating your own instruments from household items?
3) Role Play
Role-playing is part of everyday play, especially as children grow and develop. However, role-playing games can be particularly useful for children with autism, who may take a little longer to understand social cues and how things work. You can help make this process easier for your child by encouraging them to participate in role-playing games.
The most important thing to remember when role-playing is to keep it simple. For example, you could set up a shop in your lounge and have your child practice talking to the clerk, or order food at a restaurant in your dining room! This is a great way to help them gain confidence. Be creative!
Creativity in Children with Autism
In conclusion, it is important that you find a way to encourage your child to be creative and allow their imagination to grow and develop. It may take a while to find the perfect creative outlet for your child, but it is definitely worth the while. A creative child becomes a creative adult – and who knows what doors those skills can open in the future.