How sensory parks and play benefit children with autism.
When was the last time your family headed to the park? For kids, parks are full of opportunities to use their imagination and discover new things about themselves, their peers, and what’s around them. There are health benefits, too.
We’re excited about the trend of cities investing in sensory parks and playgrounds for their residents, like Windhaven Meadows Park and Jack Carter Park in North Texas and Northglenn Sensory Playground in Colorado.
Sensory parks and playgrounds are built for the special needs of children with autism and other challenges, but they can be fun and beneficial for everyone. There’s a close connection between sensory play and our ability to process and store information as well as solve problems and complete tasks.
For children with autism and other special needs, sensory parks and playgrounds are ideal for safely stimulating their senses and giving them a chance to interact on a more meaningful way with their environment and other kids compared to a typical playground.
Feed your child's seven senses.
According to Miracle Recreation, makers of playground products, sensory parks and playgrounds are designed to stimulate all five senses of children – sight, touch, taste, smell and sound – plus two others:
- Vestibular – The vestibular sense relates to movement and balance. As a kid develops this sense, they become aware of where their head and body is in space. This gives them the ability to stay upright when walking, standing, and sitting.
- Proprioceptive – This sense relates to body awareness, giving kids the ability to tell where body parts are in relation to each other. As kids develop the proprioceptive sense, they’re able to determine how much force to use while navigating playground equipment.
Enjoy the Benefits of Sensory Play at The Behavior Exchange
We use sensory play in our ABA therapy programs here at The Behavior Exchange to help kids with autism develop important fine and gross motor skills that can lead to more independence and success in their lives.
Fine motor skills are used in activities and tasks completed with the smaller muscles of the hand and fingers, such as:
- Writing with a pencil
- Brushing teeth
- Cutting with scissors
- Building a LEGO set
Gross motor skills require the whole body and core muscles to perform tasks like:
- Walking, running, and jumping
- Climbing on the playground
- Dressing (i.e. putting on a pair of pants or a shirt)
- Catching and throwing a ball
If you receive a diagnosis of autism or delayed development disorder, call The Behavior Exchange as soon as possible at 972.312.8733. Early intervention is key to their success. We can create a customized, early-intervention treatment plan for your child, where our ABA therapy experts work with them several days a week. Most children start in One-on-One Therapy and graduate to B.E.E.S. (Behavior Exchange Early Start), our school readiness program.
For more information about the benefits of early intervention, check out this article.