Play and Leisure for Children with Autism: Resources

When surveyed by students, Disability SPOT members gave clear preferences for resources that would help them in their day to day practice with school-aged children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These attractive and “to the point” evidence-based tip sheets can be used to prepare for sessions, shared with client families or support staff. The students who developed them learned lots and have now contributed to the profession they are about to enter. Win-Win!

Why “Play and Leisure”?

“Play gives children an opportunity to form a sense of belonging, create meaningful interactions with other people and increase their quality of life.”

For an overview of the following resources, please read the Play and Leisure Resource information.

Fact sheets on the following topics are listed below:

  • General factsheets
  • Integrating Play with Self Care
  • Social Skills
  • Other Topics

General Factsheets

What is Autism?
There is nothing simple about Autism but this fact sheet describes the essential diagnostic criteria, the DSM-V classifications and a list of references to get you started

Tips for Families
We all know that the role of families is crucial to a child’s successful inclusion. They are also very busy! Grab this sheet and share it with families to look together at what the next step might be.

Tips for Teachers Teachers who want to help build a child’s play skills but aren’t sure were to start will be off and running when you pass this on to them. Let them know you can support them and you might be part of a winning team.

Integrating Play with Self-Care

  • Integrating Play with Self-Care Overview
    Anyone who has cared for kids knows that self-care can be done in a playful manner!
  • Video modelling
    We all have access to video technology and here’s a tip backed by evidence as well as an App that might be just the thing you need.
  • Dressing
    This doesn’t have to be about making one of the most stressful routines of the day even more demanding. We all know that play is learning! So here’s a tip for a website that will get your ideas flowing.
  • Bath time
    Learn about some great resources that might just turn the tide of bath time stress.

Social Skills

  • Social Skills Factsheet
    Social skills are the core of inclusion and we want to get to the core of the evidence on this important topic.
  • Lego-based therapy
    If this is in line with your child’s interest you’ll want to learn more about the structure of this evidence based intervention
  • Interactive sensory room
    Play and relaxation ideas in an interactive sensory environment.
  • Integrated play group
    Structured spaces that bring children with ASD together with their neurotypical peers might be the stepping stone you need towards inclusion.

Other Topics

  • Social inclusion in the classroom
    Inclusion is a basic human right. Here you’ll find the basics of AT, Social stories and sensory regulation to build an inclusive classroom.
  • Being Creative when routines change
    Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic or the more “expected” unexpected changes in routine, it can help to have some strategies on hand to bring down the stress levels.
  • Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) (Webinar)
    Have you ever wished for an hour with an experienced PBS practitioner to ask all the things you need to get you started? This is your chance to learn how it’s done and you get to pause and rewind as often as you like!