How Autism Can Affect Motor Skills
People who suffer from autism have trouble with communication and social situations. They often have repetitive or restrictive patterns in regards to their thoughts and behaviors; and an individual with autism will have problems pertaining to their motor skills and sensory processing. What most people see as a tantrum or an autistic person acting out is actually their way of coping with sensory processing. Motor development is normally delayed, therefore, most young children will seem like they are behind their peers in regards to their capabilities.
Motor development is very important for each and everyone of us. These skills allow us to grab items we need, walk on a daily basis, and even chew our food so we do not choke. Studies have shown that if problems regarding motor skills are not addressed, then the problems will persist through adult years. This creates a great challenge for an individual who is struggling with autism. If you are noticing that your child is behind in regards to their motor skills, then there are activities you can introduce that will assist them in their learning so they can advance their gross as well as fine motor skills.
It has been suggested that a child with autism works with an occupation therapist to increase their motor skills, communication, and sensory processing. If you can not find the time to visit an occupational therapist, then here are a few ideas of how you can help your child at home. In their minds they will be simply playing, however, you will have the comfort of knowing you are helping them to grow and learn necessary life skills.
Ways To Help Autistic Children Better Their Motor Skills
- Allow your child to put money into a piggy bank.
- Print out shapes such as squares, circles, and triangles, and allow them to cut the shapes out.
- Present squeeze toys to your child.
- Let them draw in the dirt or sand.
- Let them play with slime or putty.
There are many other games and ideas that can help a child with autism work on their motor skills. Try to incorporate a game or activity daily to ensure they will continually grow and increase their motor skills. If you find that they tend to melt down because of something you have introduced, then it is wise to consider that they are being overloaded in a sensory manner. Allow them to take a break, and try to introduce the object at a later date.
Remember when your child is breaking down that they are trying to tell you something. If the radio or television is too loud and they begin to scream or throw a fit, then they are letting you know that they are on sensory overload. It is important to stay patient and correct the situation so they can calm down. It will take daily practice to help them better their motor development, however, with just a little bit of practice you will see your child begin to improve on a daily basis.
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Check our blog Fine motor skills activities for kids and learn more activities to help your kid with fine motor skills