Article by Abby Twyman, M.Ed., BCBA
Happy July Autism Community! We are in the heat of the summer, some of us more literally than others, and some of us are looking for things to do to keep ourselves and our children busy. Well, July is National Parks and Recreation Month so it seems like a great time to talk about all the recreational things you can do with your kids to fill the days.
For all of you who may not know, here is the definition of recreation:
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The “need to do something for recreation” is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be “fun”. The term recreation implies participation to be healthy refreshing mind and body. (wikipedia)
The answers to the following two questions, from Recreation Rendezvous Inc., may also be helpful to get us started thinking about summer recreation.
What is recreation and leisure?
- Recreation is about activities, pastimes, and experiences which are freely chosen. They are usually undertaken in free time and produce feelings of well being, fulfillment, enjoyment, relaxation and satisfaction.
- They are opportunities to express creativity, achieve and master new things and feel good about doing so.
- Community based recreation offers an opportunity to meet people while enjoying a range of social, cultural or physical activities.
Why is recreation and leisure important?
- Recreation is important in promoting quality of life.
- It increases self esteem and confidence.
- Gives people the opportunity to make their own choices.
- It gives satisfaction, enjoyment and pleasure.
- It enables us to become involved and feel part of the community.
- It increases the opportunity to gain and develop new friendships.
- It allows us to be challenged, take risks and experience new things.
- It bridges the gap between attending and participating in the community.
- It allows people to contribute their skills and feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment.
- It promotes friendships through shared experiences.
We will be featuring different recreation opportunities, why they may be important, and how to make them successful for you and your family.
July is also Freedom from Fear of Speaking Month, and we will be engaging the community in discussions about self-advocacy and communication, by individuals with autism or parents, about how autism impacts their lives. The easiest and most natural way to learn is by listening to each other!
Please visit our forum to post questions or comments related to the topic this month or anything else that’s on your mind!