Two Fun Ways to Work on Gross Motor Skills with Your Child on the Autism Spectrum

“Standing, walking, running, jumping, crawling, rolling, sitting upright, throwing, catching, and kicking a ball – these are some examples of gross motor skills. Strengthening gross motor skills promotes health and refines balance, strength, muscle endurance, and coordination.

“At The Autism Treatment Center of America®, we use The Son-Rise Program® approach to make learning fun and motivating for our children. If you would like to support your child with strengthening their gross motor skills, here are some fun Son-Rise Program activities you can try.

“Balloon T-Ball – for a child who likes characters or numbers

“Set up a T-Ball Stand and a bat and blow up a few balloons. Draw pictures on the balloons to cater to your child’s interests. For example, if your child loves Garfield, draw a Garfield character on each balloon. If your child is interested in numbers, draw a number on each balloon. When your child pays attention to you, place a balloon on top of the T-Ball stand, and take a hit at the balloon with your bat. Invite your child to practice swinging and hitting each balloon off the stand with you.

“Obstacle Course – for a child who loves Energy, Excitement, and Enthusiasm!

“Set up an obstacle course around the room using couch cushions, a beanbag, a table, or a pop-up tunnel (if you have one). When your child engages with you, pretend to be an enthusiastic sports announcer. Use an exciting voice to let your child know there is an obstacle course for you both to complete. For example, ‘Announcing… the world’s most amazing obstacle course! It’s about to begin… Competing in this event is…. Daddy and John! and the crowd goes wild!’ (Add a big cheer). Jump across the path of cushions. Crawl under the table/through the tunnel, and stand on the beanbag for the finish line! Invite your child to do the same as you cheer and clap wildly for them.”

Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher

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