If you have a child who is autistic, you know how imperative it is to have downtown that will benefit your child and you. Creating downtime is a great way to remove your child from the busy schedule that can be taxing on him or her.
Autistic children spend time at school with his or her peers, your child may attend tutoring classes, may spend time visiting his or her doctor for medical advise, therapies, and may participate in a structured classroom, with many activities geared for the disorder of autism. A rigid schedule can be stressful and wearing on your child.
If your child has siblings, they may have downtime that appears to be different, than your child with autism. Your child with autism may decide to retreat himself or herself into their own world. That world can be a quiet room, a favorite comfort zone, a certain television show, a favorite song, a stuffed animal to talk to or even be with a certain member of the family, to relax, etc.
I know my brother had a difficult time to find the energy to be part of every social activity or an activity that required social interaction. It was a challenge for him to read social cues, and belong to an active group. This became emotionally and mentally draining on him. It became stressful not to understand how to communicate. Downtime is an important benefit.
I have learned and experienced, that you have to respect your child and understand that he or she has stress levels just as other people do who do not have autism. Therefore, your child who has autism needs time, space, a quiet place to relax and express his or herself, which can be called their own "oasis". Downtime, is extremely beneficial and will bring positive results.
Your child may have recess time that is available, if your child attends a school that offers it. This is another area that can be stressful. The reason being, is, some children with autism struggle due to the fact of the pressures for social interactions. Such as, sports that can be competitive, sensory input that can create exhaustion and be overloaded. This is not beneficial.
It is imperative not to push or force your child, to enjoy some activity that is not working for him or her. Respect your child and be aware, that it is beneficial to have downtime. Your child needs to recharge his or her system and emotions.
I have experienced with the disorder of my brother that over-scheduling activities, familiar routines, or appointments, is not a wise plan.
You will benefit from having downtime, by creating calming time, and release some of the tensions that have been built to recharge or energize your child.
Do not view or think downtime is a waste of time. It can be beneficial for your child the way he or she functions to enhance their ability to grow and change.
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