Playing outside is an important part of childhood that has many developmental benefits for children, including:
Enjoying time outdoors year-round provides learning experiences that encourage self-discovery, communication, self-confidence, friendships and independence for children, including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Keep in mind the precautions you should take to make sure your child with autism enjoys playing outside safely.
Be creative with outdoor play activities, and take the season into account. Have picnics and ballgames in the spring and summer, and try apple picking, collecting leaves and holiday decorating in the fall and winter.
Outside time can be fun and stress-free. Check for local events like festivals and concerts that are family-friendly and accessible. Bring friends and family—extra adult hands—to help make the event fun for everyone, and don’t forget to have fun yourself.
We recognize that every child is unique and that the content of these articles may not work for everyone. This content is general information and is not specific medical advice. We hope these tips will serve as a jumping-off point for finding the best approach to helping a child with autism. Always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the health of a child. In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team are independent providers and are not our employees.