All children learn by playing. It is important that children with special needs take part in activities with all children, including those who do not have special needs. All children can learn from one another. Your child has as much to give to others as he or she will receive from others. Good friendships can develop as children learn to work and play together.
If your child has a brother or sister, encourage them to play together. They will learn from one another, building confidence and skills needed for playing and being with others outside of the family.
You can help your child learn by including your child in many different activities. You and others who care for your child may need to think of new ways to make or buy toys, furniture, or other tools to help your child learn.
Think about what your child does well. Try to find an activity where that skill or talent is used. Look for activities or play groups your child will enjoy and that can develop skills and talents. Ask about activities at school and in the community. Your local community center, YMCA, or YWCA may have programs or activities your child may enjoy: swimming, horseback riding, art, day camps, canoeing, dancing, camping, nature programs, and trips. A church or temple group can be helpful. Some offer family or other group activities. There may be a play group or preschool program your child can join.
All children need time to play. By playing, children begin to explore and ask questions. Playing gives children the chance to dream, make choices, try new things, have fun, and learn. Children with special needs should have the same chance to play and meet other children. Children are good at including everyone if we will let them.