According to the World Health Organization, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) include some disorders related to brain development, including autism or Asperger syndrome. This time we talk about some games and activities that will help stimulate children with Asperger syndrome, in case your child has been diagnosed.
If you are the parent of a child with Asperger's syndrome, you know better than anyone that your child may have an above-average intelligence as well as a particular cognitive style that is different from the rest, which may be due to a lack of flexibility that makes them feel safe with routines, they cost you changes and are not flexible with the rules; You may have developed a very marked and even obsessive interest in some subject, for example, means of transport, dinosaurs, maps, etc; and it may make you exclude other activities.
On the other hand, and among the signs that characterize that a child suffers from Asperger's syndrome,your child understands the social world in a different way and, therefore, it is common for them to have some behaviors such as difficulty in following the instructions given in a group, to focus attention and correctly interpret the messages, and they may use highly structured and sometimes repetitive language.
You also know that one of the biggest areas of opportunity for your child diagnosed with Asperger's is social skills. Usually, it is not easy for him to make friends, it is very likely that he does not use verbal and non-verbal language correctly and that it is difficult for him to interpret (he does not know when to use a look or a smile, he does not perceive when someone wants to end the conversation or when they are saying something inappropriate, etc.) . You can show little empathy and have a hard time acknowledging your feelings and emotions and those of others.
Of course your child must have a thousand strengths too, which you surely make flourish in him day by day. To help you do this, we give you the following general recommendations:
- It is necessary to take into account all the characteristics and individualities of your child to put activities and toys within his reach that provide him with fun and at the same time help him develop his areas of opportunity. Know your personal tastes and interests It helps us to put activities related to the subject that is of interest to you at your fingertips to get your attention.
- It is advisable NOT to guide them to activities they do not want or games where they need to interact too much with other children and that make them feel uncomfortable or exposed.
- It is NOT advisable to 'impose' activities in the open air or with a lot of movement where they must change their position and their personal space is not respected and / or they receive lots of sensory stimulation that can make them feel groggy.
Next, we present a series of proposals for activities, games and toys that can help you further develop the skills in the cognitive and communication area of children with Asperger syndrome.
1. Mirror. Imitation game for children between 4 and 6 years old
It is about standing in front of the child and performing an action that he must imitate. Actions can be very simple and gradually become more complicated. Imitation games are a good way to encourage the child to notice the behaviors of others and learn different skills and sequences of behaviors, also favoring the establishment of better communication and affective bonds.
2. What is and what is not. Fun activity for children 4-6 years old
A board is made with different cuts of behaviors that are given to the child and he must decide in which column to paste them, in those of good or in that of bad behaviors. For example, we could include behaviors such as: lending their things, being nice, yelling, hitting, etc.
Thanks to this game, we put into practice the recognition of different social situations, but we also work on the child's self-control and social skills with Asperger's.
3. Guess what it is? Game idea for kids ages 4-8
Again in pairs, one says the characteristics and functions of an object that he has chosen from the environment in which we are and that he keeps covered so that the other does not see it. The other must guess based on the descriptions. Then the roles are changed.
Through this game language and understanding of the basic functions of objects are stimulated.
4. Theater. Role-playing games for children with Asperger's from 4 years
The objective is to design a theatrical representation where the child must play different roles: Dad, Doctor, Teacher, Policeman, etc; or actions like going shopping or to a restaurant. The complexity of the game is adjusted to the age of the child.
This activity encourages empathy, the ability to recognize other perspectives and the development of social skills.
5. How I feel? Emotion game for children over 4 years old
To carry out this game, cards of different feelings, emotions and moods are made. Each participant chooses one and represents it through body and facial expressions and talks about when they felt it so that the other can guess. Then the roles change.
Thanks to this activity, we work on the recognition and expression of emotions.
6. Book of emotions. Activity for children from 4 years
We can design a book with cardboard, cutting out magazine images about the different emotions: happiness, sadness, fear and anger. The images can be of people, animals or landscapes that convey that emotion.
Once again, with this activity we favor the recognition and expression of emotions.
7. Children's stories 4 years and older
Read stories and generate reflection on the characters, what they felt, why they acted in a certain way, if it was good or bad and why, what would they have done, etc.
With this activity, which we can carry out every day, we work on the recognition of emotions, values, empathy, social skills.
8. Reflection on films with children from 4 years old
Watch a short, a fragment or a complete film and then generate reflection on the characters, what they felt, why they acted in a certain way, if it was good or bad and why, what would they have done, etc. The objective is to stimulate knowledge about emotions, values, in addition to working on social skills.
9. Make a blackboard with schedules and drawings of the different activities
Carrying out a visual schedule with the child in which they can recognize the different activities they will have during the day is very useful for them to feel safe. When it comes to young children it is fun to use drawings, pictures and photographs. It is an activity designed for children 4 years and older and that provides them with certainty and security.
10. Construction or crafting based games
Construction games are an ideal tool to stimulate children with Asperger's. The options are many and varied:
- Building games like blocks and legos.
- Logical or mathematical games.
- Memory games
- Creation of crafts and the use of clay and modeling clay
All of these games help develop their cognitive skills, but also develop fine motor skills and creativity. In addition, it can calm them in moments of anxiety.
11. Pass the ball. Game for children over 4 years
It is based on the participants (they can do it as a family) pass a ball to each other, saying in each pass a characteristic of the person to whom they send the ball. This game favors communication and observation of characteristics.
12. Say it with mimicry. Fun activity for kids ages 4 and up
It is played in pairs or in groups and consists of acting from words, actions or movie names depending on the age of the child without being able to emit any sound until the other guesses having a time limit to achieve it. Each turn the roles are changed and the mimic must now guess.
With this activity interpersonal relationships, the ability to interpret and non-verbal language are favored.
13. Say it with pictures. Game for ages 5 and up
This game consists of one drawing and the other interpreting, without being able to speak. With activities like this, interpersonal relationships, the ability to interpret and non-verbal language are favored.
14. Share your interests. Activity from 5 years
Present and teach your knowledge regarding the subject of your interest. Having restricted interests can make them great experts. Through this activity we are able to promote their communication skills and their interaction with others, but we also increase their security, autonomy and popularity in the group.
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