For the longest time, we could never get Carter to go outside and play. It was too cold, hotter than he liked, or didn’t involve video games or technology. Does Autism and being outside even mix, we sure couldn’t tell, or knew what direction to go. Until we did!
Autism and Being Outside
We went through a time where the only thing that kept Carter entertained was an IPad, in his bed, under his blanket. 😄 It makes me laugh to this day, as there was times when we would be looking for Carter, and then his blanket just started talking out loud with a light underneath.
For us, we were not super upset about realizing that Carters chances of being in the NFL had reduced, but we did want to try and get him outside and play as much as possible. Of course we always go outside with our kids, and are not the type to let them run wild around the neighborhood hoping they don’t get hit by a car. We wanted Carter to have a friend or two, and most kids enjoy being outdoors. Kinley has no problem in that department, and we don’t want to hold her back because Carter prefers technology over people. However we think a little vitamin D is good for everyone, (more about this in a later post regarding headaches). So if we could get him to play more outside, then it could be a win for everyone.
There are a few things to understand though. One, Carter hates flying insects. Like stated in another Post he would run off a cliff then be within 15 feet of a bee or fly. Second, he prefers, I don’t like to use the word needs, a tv playing in the background. He can’t be in his room without the television on playing some sound. He claims to be scared, and although it would be impossible to state this is true or false, we have to go with our gut and assume he really does have anxiety with no tv playing in the room. This led us to put a small tv in the garage on the LEGO table that can play a movie while he plays outside on the trampoline or in the driveway. It seems to work great, and he spends a ton of time outside now.
He also is a water fanatic. You set up a blow up water slide and he is there. It can have ice cubes floating around and he will still be swimming like a pro. No fear of water, unless a bee lands on it, then it’s off for the races. You want Carter to win the Olympics, drop a bee behind him on the whistle and he is gone. It’s not swimming, it’s running on water.
His ABA Therapist Carter’s Current Weekly Routine also plays outside with him, and Mr. Brandon is great at knowing how to push Carter just past the comfort zone to try new things and decide for himself if he likes it. This is important for us, as we feel Carter doesn’t have to bubble wrapped protected and safeguarded in his room 24/7. We want his gifts to be shared with the world, and let that smile and laugh spread through your heart. By paying close attention to his needs and fears, we were able to figure out a transition to get him outside and have fun. He even plays basketball with the family, although he thinks it is a massive game of keep away. Maybe it is, and we are the ones who are mistaken how to play basketball.
How do you get your child outside?