Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Autism Therapy on the Playground

A School Playground for Autism Therapy

Grad Student creates a playground providing autism therapy to children.

Playgrounds can be like war zones to autistic children. They can be crowded and noisy. To a child with autism spectrum disorders this can be overstimulating and cause outbursts. Now a concept for developing a playground for autism therapy students has been presented by several bright young people. It is a schoolyard playground that allows for a cooling off zone and other aspects that would be therapeutic to children with autism. Providing  children who suffer from the disorder a fun environment integrated with autism therapy.

Chelsy King, a Kansas State grad student is designing an autism friendly playground for all kids. Autistic children will have a friendly environment and be able to interact with the rest of the school children. A place they won’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable. From the great staff and InfoZone we offer part of the story below…

playground and autism therapy
Playgrounds can cause confusion and outbreaks for autistic children. Read about an autism therapy playground.Image by LaPrimaDonna via Flickr

“Through this research, I was able to determine that therapies and activities geared toward sensory stimulation, cognitive development, communication skills, and fine and gross motor skills — which traditionally occur in a classroom setting — could be integrated into the schoolyard,” King said.

King designed her schoolyard with both traditional aspects — such as a central play area — and additional elements that would appeal to children with autism, including:

  • A music garden where children can play with outdoor musical instruments to help with sensory aspects.
  • An edible garden/greenhouse that allows hands-on interaction with nature and opportunities for horticulture therapy.
  • A sensory playground, which uses different panels to help children build tolerances to difference sensory stimulation.
  • A butterfly garden to encourage nature-oriented learning in a quiet place.
  • A variety of alcoves, which provide children with a place to get away when they feel overwhelmed and want to regain control.

King created different signs and pictures boards around these schoolyard elements, so that it was easier for children and teachers to communicate about activities. She also designed a series of small hills around the central play areas so that children with autism could have a place to escape and watch the action around them.

“It is important to make the children feel included in the schoolyard without being overwhelmed,” King said. “It helps if they have a place — such as a hill or an alcove — where they can step away from it and then rejoin the activity when they are ready.

You can read more on the InfoZone website.

The whole design looked pretty interesting. Music gardens, greenhouse gardens and butterfly gardens are all very appealing and provide a soothing atmosphere.

At present no one is making any plans to construct a schoolyard on this model.

Don’t you just love the ideas for the different gardens that went into the design

We love the creativeness that when beyond the typical swing-sets and hopscotch area, providing fun synced with autism therapy on the playground.  How would you have enjoyed such a playground when you were so young?

One Response to Autism Therapy on the Playground

  1. Pingback: Autism Therapy on the Playground « autismandtherapy