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Games for Kids with Autism to Enhance Social Interaction

(full disclosure: I used links to my Etsy store to help you find resources, but the Amazon links are not affiliate links! I will only make a commission if you purchase from my Etsy store)

I have been thinking about games to enhance social interaction with my autistic son. I decided to dive into the world of AI and asked ChatGPT for some help and it didn’t disappoint!

So, let’s explore fun ways of communicating through play with games for kids with autism to enhance social interaction. Engaging in fun and interactive games is a fantastic way to enhance communication skills, particularly for our autistic kiddos. Join me in discovering a few games that make learning a playful adventure!

Games for Kids with Autism to Enhance Social Interaction:

1. Simon Says – Express Edition:

This is “Simon Says” with a little communication twist! You want to use simple instructions such as “Simon says clap your hands”; “Simon says touch your nose”; “Simon says stick out your tongue.”

You want to focus on things you know your child can do and be prepared to do hand-over-hand instruction as well to broaden their communication skills. This not only encourages listening skills but also provides an opportunity for non-verbal communication through gestures.

Check out my Body Parts Printable with Head Shoulders Knees and Toes visuals!

2. Emotion Charades:


Create a game of charades centered around expressing emotions. You can draw or print pictures of different facial expressions and emotions then take turns acting them out. This helps children recognize and convey emotions in a fun and interactive way.

And don’t worry if your child can’t act out the emotions with you. It’s good practice still to point to pictures and see you act them out. It fosters communication and helps the kiddos learn about their own feelings and emotions.

Check Out These Resources:

  1. Feelings Emotions Chart Printable for Kids
  2. Feelings and Emotions Thermometer + Communication Cards Printable

3. Story Cubes Adventure:


Story cubes can be a great tool for sparking creativity and communication. Roll the cubes and take turns adding elements to a collaborative story. This game encourages verbal communication, imaginative thinking, and turn-taking.

This was probably my least favorite suggestion, but I know some of our kiddos can benefit from this game. Even if your child is nonverbal, they may enjoy rolling the cubes and letting you tell the story to them!

Found These on Amazon:

  1. Rory’s Story Cubes
  2. Story Dice Set
  3. DIY Happy Story Dice 9 Cubes

4. Barrier Games:


Set up a barrier (could be a folder or a cardboard partition) between you and your child. Both of you has a set of objects, and you take turns giving verbal instructions to arrange them in a specific way. This game promotes clear communication and listening skills.

I think this would be a fun hand-over-hand game to play if your kiddo is nonverbal. You can tell them how to place the object and help them arrange it if needed. This is also a fine motor skill game.

5. Communication Bingo:


Create a bingo card with various communication goals such as making eye contact, using a specific word, or asking a question. As your child achieves each goal, mark it off. Celebrate with a small reward for a bingo! This game makes communication objectives engaging and achievable.

This is also good for visual communication for instance using a full sentence on their communication app or AAC or using a communication card to ask for help. (Stay tuned, I’m going to try to work on a bingo card to post!)


Conclusion:


Communication can be a journey filled with discovery and joy. It doesn’t always have to make you and your child want to pull out your hair lol!

Through these games, we can make this journey exciting for our autistic kids. The perks are not just playing with your autistic kiddo, but also fostering communication in a way that feels natural and enjoyable. So, don’t feel too down if they’re not interested or don’t enjoy the games at first.

Have you tried any of these games, or do you have your own favorites?

I love connecting, so please share your experiences and tips in the comments below. Let’s build a treasure trove of ideas to make communication a delightful part of our daily routines. If you enjoyed these games, don’t forget to share this post with fellow parents and caregivers!


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