According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development roughly one out of every 88 children in America currently has autism. (ref 1) Autism is a developmental disorder often confused as mental retardation by those who have no knowledge of the affliction. Many autistic teens have average or above-average intelligence but suffer from social development problems. If your teenaged daughter is autistic, there are a number of home activities to help stimulate her social awareness and help her get in touch with her feelings.
Yoga is a popular trend, especially among teenaged girls who have been swept by the fitness craze to look and feel their best. Yoga is also especially beneficial for autistic teens as researchers have stressed that its motions and breathing techniques offer positive physical and psychological effects by relaxing the participant and helping her feel calm. Yoga is a great home activity for autistic teens and parents to do together as it requires no expensive equipment or special facilities.
Creative writing is a great home activity for families and autistic teen girls, allowing them to express their thoughts and emotions. According to the Raising Children Network, engaging in creative writing within the setting of a social group gives teens with autism spectrum disorder the chance to better express their thoughts and social skills. Not only can parents use creative writing as a vehicle for spending time with their daughter, each can use the other's writings to emotionally bond and understand one another better. Writing helps harness thoughts and emotions, and heightens the attention spans of autistic teen girls. When parents sit down and write stories and poems with their autistic teen they allow her to open up and perhaps instill within her the confidence to someday share her writing with her peers.
If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, swim activities can offer multiple benefits. According to Talk About Curing Autism, most autistic children are attracted to water but many drown every year because they lack safety awareness. However, TACA states that older kids may have new skills that make them more capable of learning how to swim. Not only will swimming lessons in your home pool teach your autistic teen a life-saving skill but will also provide a regimented, therapeutic activity to soothe and calm your daughter.
Autistic teens need constant support or they run the risk of retreating into themselves. By helping your teen daughter identify her positive and negative thoughts and emotions, and having her act them out through a skit, you will be supporting her through a creative outlet. According to Web M.D., teens who aren't given parental support often experience confusion and extreme loneliness and exhibit more severe behavior problems. Depression and suicide are also risks associated with autistic teens who aren't supported and given the channels to express themselves. By having your teen daughter write a skit and act out her emotions with participating family members, she will be purging her angst while feeling support from the family.
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: How Many People are Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
- AutismAfter16.com: Stretching Treatment Options: Yoga and Autism
- Raising Children Network: Social and Recreational Activities for Teenagers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
- TACA: Teens with ASD: Extracurricular Activities
- Web M.D.: Parenting Adolescents with Autism
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