Tips for Creating an Autism-Friendly Backyard
Spending time outdoors is good for everyone, but it can be particularly beneficial for children on the autism spectrum. In addition to numerous health benefits, it provides them with an opportunity to learn essential life skills that they can use through adolescence and well into their adult life.
However, giving your child with autism more time outdoors may come with its challenges, which is why starting with your backyard can be the best way forward. Below, we’ve provided some ideas for how to tailor your backyard to meet the needs of children on the autism spectrum.
Create Relaxation Areas
Creating spots in your backyard for your child to decompress from sources of stimulation could prove invaluable.
Consider installing a hammock as a form of therapy for your child.
An outdoor meditation space can also go a long way in helping your child relax and recenter.
Gardening is loaded with benefits to children with autism, they can learn valuable skills.
Planting new trees and creating wide, smooth walkways help make your backyard more relaxing for your child.
Add Educational Elements
Along with relaxation, you can also design your backyard to enhance your child’s learning.
Bird watching, camping, and other forms of nature observation can be a great way for your child to learn outside.
For a unique learning opportunity, make an outdoor reading nook!
If your child is on the autism spectrum, there are many online resources that can help you find educational tools that fit their needs.
Prioritize Accessibility and Safety
And of course, nothing is more important than safety and accessibility when it comes to creating an autism-friendly backyard.
The first thing you want to do is ensure that you have a sturdy fence installed around your property.
Also, run a safety check, making sure any handrails on decks and along paths are in good condition.
Be sure to keep chemicals—such as household and pool cleaning solutions—out of reach for your child.
And be on the lookout for weeds and plants that could be harmful to your child.
Outdoor time is essential for children with autism, but it also comes with challenges. Start thinking of ways to make your backyard a better place for your child to play, explore, and relax in. The ideas and resources listed here are a great place to start, but be sure to keep researching until you’ve developed the perfect backyard for your family.
Amanda Henderson ⎸firstname.lastname@example.org