This tip comes from Dr. Rachael Sautter, who is the Director of Educational Services for the Y.A.L.E. School Autism Program:
Community outings are an important part of life, but may involve challenges for children with autism spectrum disorder. There are several ways to prepare for community outings and maximize their positive and beneficial elements. One way to plan a meaningful community outing is to create an agenda. A picture or written activity schedule will provide the child with a plan, minimizing unexpected surprises, nervousness, or uncertainty. An activity schedule can make a child more confident and prepared for the outing. Other important aspects of community outings include tasks and activities. If the community outing is at a store, have the child assist with the shopping list, compare prices, or find items. If the outing is at a restaurant, the child can pick a food choice, place an order, or calculate a tip. Planning a task list for the community outing will ensure that the child gains new skills or is able to reinforce learned skills. Community outings help children learn social and life skills while also providing a fun way to gain hands-on learning experiences, as well!
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