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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Aliotta

Harnessing the Power of Play: A Guide to Enhancing Learning & Social Skills for Children with Autism

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

As a parent, you understand that your child's playtime isn't just about fun; it’s an opportunity for them to learn and grow. Games can teach children valuable skills such as socialization, problem-solving, motor development, and much more.


For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), these playful interactions can be particularly rewarding and constructive, opening new avenues for learning and communication.

However, not all games are created equal, especially when it comes to children with autism. Choosing the right games is crucial to ensure they provide a supportive, enjoyable, and non-overwhelming environment. This task might seem daunting, but don’t worry – I’m here to help guide you along this journey.

Here, I’ll share some of our favorite games for autistic kids, encompassing both virtual and in-person activities.

Board Games for Autistic Kids



Board games offer the perfect blend of fun and learning. While children may see them as a source of entertainment, these games also serve as a platform for them to acquire essential life skills in a creative and engaging manner.


1. Hungry Hungry Hippos


This game is a classic loved by kids of all ages. The objective is simple - feed your hippo as quickly as possible to collect the most "food". The game promotes parallel play, which is beneficial for young children with autism who are still learning how to navigate social situations.

2. Chutes and Ladders


Suitable for children of various ages, Chutes and Ladders is a game of chance that teaches patience, understanding, and reactions. Whether they climb a ladder or slide down a chute, your child learns to cope with the ups and downs, much like life itself.


3. Scrabble


Ideal for older children and teenagers, Scrabble encourages them to explore their vocabulary and learn new words. It's an excellent opportunity to teach spelling, inspire social interaction, and even incorporate basic math skills.


Online Games for Autistic Kids


In the digital age, online games offer a wealth of educational opportunities. Here are a few websites that offer a plethora of memory games and other activities suitable for kids with ASD.


ABCya


This platform provides a variety of online brain games for different age groups and even includes printables for offline activities.


PBS Kids


PBS Kids games bring your children’s favorite characters to life in learning adventures.


Nick Jr.


Nick Jr. offers learning games centered around their popular TV shows, providing an entertaining and engaging experience for children with ASD.


Don't forget to read our guide: The Demand for ABA Therapy is Growing


Other Helpful Activities and Games for Autistic Kids



When it's time for a break from board games and screen time, here are three simple yet effective activities to foster social skills.


Memory Card Games


These games improve brain function and emphasize the importance of attention and focus. It can be as straightforward as matching suits, colors, or numbers using a deck of cards.


Charades


Charades is a fun game for the whole family that encourages patience, problem-solving, and the use of facial expressions.


Storytelling


Storytelling sessions give children the chance to explore their own minds, expand their emotions and imagination, and learn how to express themselves.


The Role of ABA Therapy at Sami’s Angels ABA Services


Finding the right activities for autistic children can be challenging, and that’s where Sami’s Angels ABA Services comes in.


Our approach to learning and behavior is rooted in Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy. This method helps children with autism and other developmental conditions better understand how to navigate challenges associated with communication and behavior.

We incorporate real-life scenarios, games, and activities into our learning sessions to help children with autism improve their motor and social skills, build independence, and understand how to apply appropriate behaviors.


If you're interested in learning more about our methodology and how we incorporate games into our learning sessions, feel free to contact us today.

Navigating through the world of autism can be challenging, but remember, you're not alone on this journey. As a parent, every step forward, no matter how small, is a victory. Keep exploring, keep playing, and keep believing in your child because every child, including yours, is beautiful in their unique way.


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