Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), at elementary school level, usually stand out of their peers and are often subject to social isolation and bullying. Social skills activities help autistic children to develop the basic functions to forge relationships. At the same time, such children may feel they are falling behind when the motor skills of their peers become more advanced.
Here are some gross motor activities that’ll help autistic children catch up with their friends.
I spy: It’s one of the most popular social skills activities. It helps the child to focus and understand a description or follow a trail to find an object. You must describe the object in as much details as possible. Then, ask the child to point the object in the room. For children with more acute processing problems, describe a couple of objects and let them select the correct one.
Guessing game: Let the child close his/her eyes and give a simple object. It could be a plastic cup or a toy block. Ask him/her to feel the object and describe it to you. If the child can’t speak (non-verbal autistic), ask him/her to show a picture when he/she opens the eyes. The guessing game helps children to use their senses other than vision.
Draw my face: You can ask your child to draw a large circle on a paper. Now demonstrate a range of emotions using facial expressions. You can ask the child to draw the face you’re making and also help in labeling the emotions like sad, happy or angry. The entire exercise can be done on autism apps as well.
Dance party: You can put on some dance music and have an impromptu party. This is one of the best social skills activities. Children can pick up counting and rhythm as well as develop physical coordination. Dancing also helps in sensory integration.