Parents of autistic children know how difficult it could be to spend time with their children on regular local playgrounds. Children with autism have communication, interaction,and motor movement issues; even innocent play on the playground can turn into a real challenge and disaster. Parents just can’t relax and peacefully read a book or drink coffee or chat with another parents because their child can run away or hurt him – or herself.
The good news is that with growing autism awareness, parents get better chances to spend time with their children on the playgrounds safely. Autistic children can just be children and enjoy their childhood in a fun and safe way. The H!GH 5 Park, Delawares first inclusive park, has been designed and built up for children with autism. Actually, any child can come and play there. However, now it’s a place where parents can play with their autistic children and even improve their social and motor movement skills.
This beautiful playground is located behind Glasgow Park’s main pavilion and surrounded by a fence. There are a reflection mirror sphere which is visually and sensory stimulated. In addition, musical instruments such as chimes, drums, xylophone and interactive sound boards encourage children to work with their hands and learn how to gasp, spinners and squishy surfaces in order to help balances and stimulate vestibular system. Also included is a zone with gears and patters which can be touched by children, a maze, and more. A real tale! Children also have the possibility to stay alone for some time, as there are comfortable benches.
We hope that this is not the last project and we will see more parks around the country, in every city and little county as autism play ideas are progressing. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of children in public schools with an ASD has grown from 152 in 2011 to about 1,660 in 2015. Unfortunately, many pupils are not diagnosed yet and many children are waiting for the support, acceptance and understanding of their needs.