Are you searching for fun activities for autistic adults to establish a new routine, promote sensory and processing abilities, and learn life skills?
If the answer’s yes, then this guide is for you.
Encouraging adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to engage in educational, recreational, and social activities will have lasting benefits. In other words, these activities aim to help autistic adults lead a whole and more fulfilling life.
So, for those interested in learning specific autism-friendly activities, make sure you check below.
Why Activities and Hobbies are Important
To maintain overall physical and mental wellness, you need to have adequate activities and hobbies. That applies to all people.
Through music, dancing, cooking, and even walking, autistic adults will experience an increased quality of life. It’s important to know that activities don’t stop at a certain age. On the contrary, they should be constantly promoted.
Hence, through activities, autistic adults will have a chance to:
- Improve communication skills
- Increase independence
- Feel joy and fulfillment
- Promote fine motor skills
- Feel accepted as a member of the community
However, it's crucial to plan all activities according to the interests, abilities, and strengths of the adult. So, let’s jump to it.
5 Fun but Practical Activities for Autistic Adults
1. Music Classes
Music is a broad medium that surpasses all abilities and disabilities. And considering that sound, or, in this case, music, is a primary human response, many autistic adults have a positive reaction to it.
Through music activities – repeating particular rhythmic patterns, repeating the melody, trying to remember a song, and eventually playing an instrument with or without someone – you’ll address behavioral, sensory-motor, social, communicative, physical, psychological, and cognitive functioning.
What's great about music is that you can adapt all the activities related to it to meet the needs of each individual since sound is flexible and malleable.
The most common musical instruments used for autism are percussion instruments, ukulele, keyboard/piano, and guitar.
2. Dance Classes
The aim of each dance is to raise awareness of body movement so that you can communicate through that movement. Note that the only universal language is the one transmitted through our bodies and moving patterns.
Therefore, your goal is to join the moving pattern of the autistic individual through dance therapy or any dance-related activities so you can then modify, improve and grow that pattern. In other words, you’re communicating with them by moving with them.
And, there’s no need to say that you’re improving sensory-motor skills, or in other words, increasing body awareness in the process.
3. Arts and Crafts
A great tool for nonverbal expression is art. Painting, drawing, building, assembling, sculpting, and writing are therapeutic, calming, and, most of all, fun.
Autistic adults will have the opportunity to explore different mediums and learn how to express themselves by using those mediums. Art and autism complete each other, and by creating any piece of art, the person will improve his motor skills, increase self-esteem, develop social skills, and fulfill sensory needs.
Here are some fun arts and crafts ideas:
- Finger painting
- Sensory bottles
- Bubble wrap abstract painting
- Sand art projects
4. Outdoor Activities/Sports
You don’t have to go to fancy gyms or sports halls; a simple walk in the park or the neighborhood can also do wonders for adults.
Spending time outdoors is healthy for both the mind and body, so it’s crucial to have regular outdoor recreational activities (adapted to the person's abilities). It’ll improve the person’s mood and help improve their attention span and motor skills.
All the following activities are a great way to spend time with the autistic adult in your life:
- Horseback riding
If we’re talking about a group of autistic adults, you can prepare simple obstacle games. They would need to interact with each other and be active all the time during the activity.
Cooking activities are not only fun, interactive, and great for bonding but also essential for life in general.
Learning how to cook is fundamental to life. And, when you’re preparing the food together, you’re giving the autistic adult a sense of teamwork and connection.
Before you start cooking or baking, make sure you’ve got the right recipe. Choose according to the autistic individual because they can be quite picky when it comes to the smell and texture of the food.
Easy and quick meals would be:
- Gluten-free pizzas
- Homemade chicken nuggets
- Sugar-free blueberry muffins
Helping Learn New Skills
Helping autistic adults learn new challenges and skills is not an easy task, but through certain activities, the process of learning can become, if not easier, more fun.
The most important thing is to create a safe and supportive environment where autistic individuals have the freedom to engage. Try various activities, be creative, and pay attention to what the autistic adult finds most pleasing. And most of all, enjoy!
Let me know if you try any of these activities for autistic adults, and if you have more interesting ideas, don't hesitate to share them with me.