I have a job taking care of adults with autism and downsyndrome..?
1) Music works really well, especially with the DS population. Put on music & lead everyone in a Conga (line) dance.
2) Pretend things, like pretend you are all birds, monkeys, kangaroos.
3) Give them Legos, Lincoln Logs, blocks & things to stack.
4) Give them paper & fingerpaints.
5) Give them crayons & butcher paper.
6) Play with a soft, big ball, with everyone in a circle on the floor.
7) Do puppet shows. They don’t have to be fancy, just have the puppets say things. Include the people’s names, to get their attention.
8) Make foods that are edible & mold-able like cooky dough that can be eaten and also cooked.
9) Make Jello thick so it can be eaten with fingers.
10) Get a “therapy dog” for the group, if permitted.
11) Approach each one and, talking softly, say nice things to them, like compliments about how nice they look, how you are happy to be working with them, etc., every hour or two.
12) Read easy books out loud to them, even if they don’t seem to be listening, like Dr. Seuss books.
That said- I would recommend music- listening to, playing instruments to, dancing to (even if it’s just swaying in time to the tunes). I would also spend time outside engaging in a LOT of water play/activities. Preparing simple snacks, having them help you bake cookies or cupcakes, make jello or pudding, etc. in the kitchen is also fun. I would highly recommend art- drawing with crayons, markers, cutting with safety scissors and using glue sticks to make a collage, fingerpainting, painting with brushes, and so on. You will find your experience working with these wonderful folks rewarding and educational in ways you can’t even imagine. Best of luck, and God bless you.
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