5 Wonderful after-school activities for special needs kids
Many times, parents of special needs children may undervalue after-school activities of their kids. This is because most of their focus is diverted towards academics or therapies. Sometimes, time or money may also be a constraint when it comes to pursuing extracurricular activities. It is important to know that letting your special needs child can make a major positive difference to their life. Here’s how it can help your child:
- Kids with special needs often have impressive talents, irrespective of learning disabilities, social issues or speech delays. It is important to recognize and build these talents.
- Extracurricular activities help your child make more friends. Kids with special needs are known to have social communication challenges. After-school activities give them an opportunity to connect with other kids.
- Skills that your child learns after school may be as important (or more) than those he learns in school. These activities may impart skills such as learning to be a part of a team, to support and encourage others, or to try new things. He may also learn the importance of building friendship and earning respect.
- These activities help build confidence and respect. When your child plays piano or learns martial arts, both you and he get to see that he can succeed and even excel.
- Some activities may become a lifelong interest.
Extracurricular Activities that you can choose
Before selecting an extracurricular activity, bear in mind your child’s needs. These are some of the mainstream options that celebrate strengths of your child:
Individual Sports: If your child enjoys sports, consider those in which your child is performing on his own and competing with his best outcomes. Swimming, martial arts, bowling, track and field, and archery are some great options.
Singing and Instrumental Programs: In addition to music therapy, consider enrolling your child in a singing or instrumental program that teaches them new skills.If your child can sing or play an instrument, he will always be welcome to join school-based bands or programs.
Theater: Kids who usually have a tough time picking the right words and actions, do well while acting from a script. Acting clubs or theatre workshops require no audition and can be a great way to get started.
Visual Arts: Many children with special needs are extremely talented in the visual arts. Find out if your child’s school or a place close-by is offering after-school programs in drawing, painting, clay, and even multi-media art.
Special Interest Clubs: Special needs children are often fascinated by a particular area of interest and have a hard time getting interested in anything else. If this is the case with your child, find out some special interest clubs in your area which cater to your child’s interest.
If you’re a parent to a special needs child, it is important to remember that outside interests can change the course of your child’s life (and your life as well). A child who has an area of real strength and a sense of belonging can do wonderful things.