After-school programs can be a great option for both kids and their parents. Children who show an interest in a given subject or activity will always want to engage in more of it. Parents who need a bit more childcare or want to try to introduce new things to their children will also be interested in finding after-school programs.
Finding a great after-school program for children with autism, however, can be a bit more challenging. Many standard after-school programs are not set up to handle certain needs of children with autism. So, how can you find a great after-school program for children with autism?
Know Your Child’s Needs
When you start looking for an after-school program for a child with autism, you need to know that child’s needs. How are they with new things and changes in routine? Do they have extreme sensory sensitivities?
Answering questions like these can help you determine which programs will work and which won’t before diving into more research. Some children with autism will thrive in after-school programs designed for neurotypical children–it all depends on the needs of that individual child.
Talk to Your Child’s School or Autism Service Provider
Before looking at programs online, talk to your child’s school or ASP. Many autism service providers offer after-school programs and activities. If you’re looking for programs specifically built for children with autism, this is the best place to start.
Having a conversation with your child’s teacher or therapist can also allow you to ask about specific programs. Outside of being able to recommend after-school programs in general, your child’s teacher therapist can recommend programs that your child would do better in. Getting a personal recommendation is always better than reading reviews or information online.
Look Up State-Sponsored Programs
State-sponsored programs, along with county- & city-sponsored programs, can be a great way to start the search for after-school programs and activities specifically designed for children with autism. Statewide (or even nationwide) programs will give you the information you can use to search for programs more relevant to your child: local programs.
When you start the search for local programs, make sure to talk to your child’s school or the school district. Many schools or district websites have lists of programs and activities designed for children with different needs. If you can’t find something on a website, be sure to make a phone call. Talking to a representative is the best way to find out if they offer a program suited to the needs of your child.
ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants
If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans to use ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.