Water Games

I think some of my friends with autism are actually fish in human bodies. They love to swim – by the hour – in a pool, river, ocean, lake, water slides, or even a sprinkler. On the other hand, some folks with autism have a great aversion to water, even the water in a bathtub or shower. For those who love the water, summer is a joyous time. Since most of us cannot spend ten or twelve hours of every day keeping an eye on our youngsters while they enjoy swimming in a pool or a lake, let us look at some ideas for water games that don’t require constant supervision. We hope you will send in some ideas to add to the list.

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Water sprinklers are marvelous summer gadgets for individuals with autism because they allow for many hours of creative free play that doesn’t require a person to interact and cooperate with others. You can purchase fancy sprinkler adapters for water play, but the old-fashioned sprinklers are also popular. One of my young friends likes to haunt the aisles of home and garden stores and hardware stores to see if he can find a new type of sprinkler.

You can add variety to summer days by using different types of sprinklers each day and by putting them in different parts of the yard. Put a sprinkler under the swing set so your youngster can swing in and out of the water. Put a sprinkler under the trampoline or under the hammock swing for cool summer fun. Put the sprinkler close to the sidewalk so your youngster can fly through the water on his bike or skateboard. One of my friends likes to occasionally sit on a lawn chair under a sprinkler and open an umbrella to watch the water falling all around her like a rain shower in the sunshine.

Water slides and shallow inflatable pools add to the summer fun. Water balloons are great for encouraging interaction with others. You can toss water balloons at a large bucket or trash can or play “water balloon popcorn” with a large parachute. Water balloon volleyball is fun, or just tossing back and forth like an egg toss activity.

So, everybody put on your thinking caps and send us some ideas about summertime water play for individuals of all ages with autism. We welcome your input. Just click on the comments button or send an e-mail to talk@FAQautism.com.

NOTE TO READERS AND LISTENERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. Feel free to send me an email with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solution. Send email to talk@FAQautism.com And don’t forget to check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. http://FAQautism.com

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