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Penina Rybak
BY Penina Rybak

3 Summer Suggestions for Whole Body Learning in Children with Autism

Summer may soon be over, but the warm weather activities can still provide a springboard for us to address whole body learning. How? Through structured and unstructured teachable moments involving toys and tech; indoors and outdoors. The key to implementing whole body learning to improve play and social communication skills is to plan lessons and find specific activities to do which involve:

  • Cognitive causality to foster self regulation and comprehension of time, including specific related language concepts such as sequencing, verb tense, and inferences
  • Psychological Theory of Mind (perspective/empathy) to promote awareness of the need to transition from Me to We depending on the situation
  • Fine motor/graphomotor practice to enhance muscle memory and episodic memory re: experienced events and associated vocabulary which get paired in the brain’s “cloud storage”

Three Suggested Activities for Whole Body Learning

Which multi-sensory real time experiences can really facilitate whole body learning and address the three skill sets mentioned above? Here are three suggested activities great for summertime:

1. Making ice cream cones using an actual “assembly line”

2. Fruit picking at your local farm and/or visiting the farm animals

3. Playing musical instruments

These activities can be done in short spurts or as longer summer school/family outings. The above mentioned toys are portable, and the iPad Apps are free at the time I wrote this post. Use these suggestions to brainstorm about similar activities/materials to add to the “whole body learning” regimen, and watch kids learn and have fun doing so!

Penina Rybak

Written on August 19, 2014 by:

Penina is an Autism Specialist and Educational Technology Consultant, who created the soon to be published Socially Speaking™ Social Skills Curriculum and already deployed Socially Speaking™ Social Skills Assessment Protocol iPad App. Visit her website for more information:

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