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Supporting Children With Autism in Chesapeake

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have unique communication, sensory and social experiences. As a parent, you know your child best. While every child’s needs are different, those with ASD tend to become distressed or overwhelmed in environments with loud noises, crowds or bright lights. This can make it challenging to find activities they’re comfortable engaging with.

For example, if your child has extreme aversions to specific food textures, trying new restaurants may not be the ideal family outing. You want your child to have fun in a way that eases their discomfort and stimulates their brain’s response to sensory information. If you’re looking for activities for them to do in the Chesapeake area, check out this guide for local events, services and programs to support your child.

Events and Activities in Chesapeake, Virginia, for Children With Autism

The Chesapeake, Virginia, area has plenty to offer for families with children with autism. We’ve compiled a collection of opportunities for learning, fun and exploration for your child:

1. We Rock the Spectrum

Watch your child explore and learn at the We Rock the Spectrum indoor playground. Located on Providence Road in Chesapeake, this kid-friendly gym was specifically designed to offer safe sensory experiences and activities for children of all ages and abilities.

We Rock the Spectrum gym features uniquely designed sensory play equipment to aid children with sensory processing disorders, including:

  • Zipline
  • Zip box with slide
  • Trampoline
  • Calming room
  • Carpet swing
  • Hammock swing
  • Bolster swing
  • Tunnels
  • Fine motor and arts and crafts area
  • Rope bridge
  • Indoor climbing structure
  • Crash pit with mats and pillows
  • Suspended equipment with swings

We Rock the Spectrum Chesapeake also hosts birthday parties, events, classes, summer camp and monthly memberships to encourage maximum fun and learning opportunities.

2. Sensory Friendly Movies

Movie theaters can be overwhelming for many children, particularly those sensitive to loud noises and bright screens. Fortunately, your child can enjoy an exciting opportunity to watch their favorite films in a safe environment thanks to the Sensory Friendly Films program. The Autism Society and AMC Theaters partnered to create an accepting and comfortable setting every month.

Families are encouraged to bring their own snacks and dance, walk, shout or sing during the movie. There are no previews or advertisements before the screening. At these unique showings, AMC keeps the lights on and turns down the sound to keep children with autism as comfortable as possible. Check out the sensory-friendly films website to find a screening near Chesapeake that your child will enjoy.

3. Our Sensory Farm

If your child is an animal lover, Our Sensory Farm in southern Chesapeake might be the perfect activity for them. This family-owned farm was founded by a special education teacher whose mission was to make a difference in the lives of children of all abilities.

This mini working farm features various inclusive outdoor experiences to encourage guests to connect with their environment and interact with others, including:

  • Adventure forest
  • Nature trails
  • Art activities
  • Swings
  • Playhouse
  • Sensory stations
  • Games
  • Play days and workshops
  • Interaction with farm animals

4. Sensory Sensitive Sundays

On the first Sunday of every month, participating Chuck E Cheese locations in Chesapeake host Sensory Sensitive Sundays™ for children with autism and sensory processing disorders. These locations open two hours early, from 9:00 to 11:00 am, to provide a sensory-friendly experience for families. These events feature a sensory-friendly arcade, dimmed lighting, reduced noise and trained staff to maintain a fun and safe experience.

5. Touch-a-Truck

Does your child love playing with toy cars? Located at the Greenbrier Mall in Chesapeake, you and your child can explore a variety of vehicles with the unique hands-on learning Touch-a-Truck experience. This annual event is open to the general public and organized specifically for children interested in seeing large trucks, first responder vehicles and construction vehicles up close.

Children are encouraged to learn how these trucks work by getting behind the wheel and working the lights, sirens and horns. You and your family can also meet with first responders and other professionals in the community and ask them questions about their occupation. This event features a quiet hour from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, where no lights, sirens or horns are used. This would be a great time to bring your child to learn up close.

Services for Children With Autism in Chesapeake

Your child deserves access to the appropriate resources and support that enable them to thrive while reinforcing skills and behaviors. In addition to introducing your child to new activities for learning and fun, you can also explore therapy for children with autism in Chesapeake.

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on helping children with autism interact with others and manage the challenges of daily life. By learning new strategies and skills, this type of therapy can also help your child live more independently.

ABA therapy may be suitable for your child if they struggle to communicate, socialize, stick to a routine or achieve certain appropriate milestones. ABA services may also help decrease maladaptive behavior associated with ASD while treating your child with respect and setting a learning pace that works for their unique needs.

ABA Therapy Programs for Children With Autism in Chesapeake

Children with autism who demonstrate sensory processing disorder symptoms often learn best when they’re exposed to various techniques. Just as all children play differently, they also learn differently. If you’re looking for ways to support your child’s quality of life, ABA therapy may be a helpful approach.

As a commonly used behavioral approach for assisting individuals with autism, ABA therapy involves adapting teaching methods to increase educational output while decreasing resistive behaviors.

The primary goal of ABA therapy is to meet your child’s needs and boost their self-esteem. Through various learning styles and types of play, your child’s ABA therapist can encourage them to:

  • Advance in specific areas of development.
  • Improve communication and language.
  • Learn social skills.
  • Understand and manage emotions.
  • Follow instructions.
  • Develop independent and self-help skills.
  • Share with others.
  • Improve attention, memory and focus.
  • Modify maladaptive behaviors.

One of the greatest advantages of ABA therapy is adaptability. ABA is a flexible method that can be modified to fit your child’s needs and goals.

Learn More About ABA Therapy Services in Chesapeake with Beahviorcraft

Your child’s health and happiness are your top priorities. Whether you’re searching for some fun sensory-friendly activities or programs, you can find many opportunities in Chesapeake to help your child thrive. At Behaviorcraft, we believe every child with autism or developmental delays deserves compassion and understanding that allows them to reach their full potential.

Request Appointment

Our team at Behaviorcraft belongs to the Kids SPOT family of companies. Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts and ABA therapists strive to do more for children by engaging them with play-based models and prioritizing transparency and respect. We offer individualized services, evidence-based treatments and collaborative support. We recognize that pursuing ABA therapy for your child can be a big decision, which is why we invite you to schedule a consultation with us at our Chesapeake location to learn more about our services.