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A guide to help you set up a safe, fun and Autism-Friendly backyard

boy in blue shirt screaming near boy in green crew-neck shirt
Photo: Ashton Bingham/Unsplash

When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, kids want to get outside more often. However, if your child is on the autism spectrum, you need to make sure that your home’s outdoor spaces are safe and accessible. Of course, you want the space to be fun as well. How can you find the right balance? Start by using this guide from Disability Insider to create an area children with disabilities will love.

Creating a Safe & Secure Backyard

Safety and accessibility go hand-in-hand, but there are a few essential steps that help ensure children are well-protected.

  • Wandering can be common with children on the autism spectrum, so properly secure outdoor play areas.
  • A fence can be a good first step in promoting your child’s safety; a fence installation company can professionally install your fence.
  • A hasp lock used in conjunction with a padlock is a good idea for older children.
  • Consider adding some outdoor lighting so that your child can play after dark.
  • Just make sure that your outdoor lighting will not overload your child’s senses.

Creating an Accessible Backyard

Children on the spectrum have different needs when it comes to feeling calm and comfortable, so make sure your backyard accommodates those needs.

  • Creating an accessible yard can be quite simple, as long as you find ways to balance sensory fun, engaging play and safety.
  • Since senses can be overloaded outside, consider adding a calming element, like a trampoline.
  • Swings can be especially calming so check out autism swings online.
  • Also think about installing a pop-up tent or tunnel as a more secluded refuge.

Planning Sensory-Friendly Backyard Fun

Finally, finding ways for kids who are on the spectrum to have fun in their backyard can be helpful for their health, well-being and development.

  • Yard-friendly science experiments are an educational way for your child to have fun, and many are sensory-friendly as well.
  • A kiddie pool can provide sensory-friendly entertainment.
  • Also consider setting up some sensory-friendly water activities to keep your child cool.
  • Just keep in mind that drowning can be a very serious risk for kids on the spectrum.

Kids need play and time outside in order to thrive. If your child is on the spectrum, look for ways to set up your backyard as a safe, accessible and sensory-friendly outdoor play area. It’s a great way to keep your child learning and having fun all summer long.

About the Author

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Rob Woods

Rob Woods is a dad from Philadelphia, USA. He is passionate about raising his two children and enjoys working on DIY projects. Rob is the co-creator of Fix It Dads which offers tips for home improvements.

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