Fathers of children with autism have unique & creative ways of bonding with their kiddos. Typically, they can’t just go see any old sports-ball game or attend a concert to spend time together – so their bonding time might look a little different. These dads of autism know and show that it doesn’t have to be a living Norman Rockwell painting to be meaningful bonding time. The ordinary leads to the extraordinary on Father’s Day and beyond!
Peter Perisin, Dad of
Bonding with my 12 year old son who has an ‘over stimulating’ personality, oh yeah and autism too, is quite fun. We’ll go on any and every roller coaster ride together, we’ll never miss a chance to go to a demolition derby, and on a nice day you’ll find us blasting up and down the river on a crazy fun and fast ride on our boat!
I don’t know if I stretch his comfort zone more than he does mine but I do know we have a blast together and I believe ABA therapy is a big part of it, too! Happy Fathers Day!
Sian S., CTM
- Any activity the child is interested in, for that day the dad does it!
- One kiddo loved Angry Birds so the dad and son got costumes and played. The smile on that kiddo was priceless.
- I’ve also seen going to bounce houses and sensory-friendly movies held in the area.
- The best I saw was a kiddo who loved Chrysler vans so they went to dealerships. The dad and son took pictures and made a little photo album. It worked and the connection and joy was priceless!
Misty E., CTM and Mom of
My son looooves cars so they go to the VOLO auto museum in Volo, [Illinois]. It’s a trek, but they also have 5 antique malls on site so that’s fun for the ladies if you aren’t into cars (or seeing the same cars for the 100th time!). Volo is super cool and totally worth the drive. One of my clients went there on Super Hero Day and had a blast!
My son also loved rockets when he was younger so they would build them and shoot them off at our local park. You can get an easy kit at Hobby Lobby. My son struggles with fine motor tasks so my husband basically did the finer-detailed things, but just doing it together was all that mattered to him!
“My kiddo and his dad love to find new Pokemon with the Pokemon Go app!” -Grace H., CTM
Breanna P., CTM
- I had a client who LOVED animals, the family would spend bonding time at the zoos.
- Another client loves being outside/nature/etc. so the family when to Botanical Gardens. Apparently they have many different great nature walks, picnic areas, and just wide open spaces. They also have kid options and family/kid classes or events to sign up for if the family is interested in something more structured.
- And yet another client loved books, so we went on community outings with parents to the book store!
Marissa L., Family Support Coordinator
This may be for some more higher-functioning kiddos but Home Depot does monthly kids workshops and they are a ton of fun! The kids get to work with their parents to make something fun. My niece (5 yo) and nephew (3 yo) both go a lot and love it. It’s a nationwide program so you can find one closest to you on their website here!
Here is a description of one they have coming up in Colorado: Join our hands-on workshop and you and your child can build a wooden tic-tac-toe game to play with family or friends almost anywhere. Once the project is complete, your child can personalize their game board and pieces with paint and stickers. All kids get to keep their project, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron, and pin.