Cheering from the Sidelines

Summer park outdoor activity vector illustration. Cartoon flat active people spend time in city park together, walking or playing with dog, have fun and do sport workout exercises isolated on white

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It’s starting to get warmer outside a lot more people are spending time outside – going on walks, playing sports, going to the parks. 


There are plenty of activities that I really enjoyed when I was younger, and I still enjoy doing them to this day. I have learned that when the people you spend time with are aware of your needs and preferences, they will often be more than happy to help and accommodate…consider sharing what you would find helpful!


Summer fun can mean the beginning of new seasonal activities like fishing, camping, fireworks, and amusement parks. However, for someone on the spectrum, there are often some changes that can be made to help them participate and feel relaxed. Looking back over past summers, I realize now that I acted differently than my sister and cousins did with certain summer activities.


For so many on the spectrum, it can be a real challenge to find the right summer activity.  But for me, the key is sometimes to figure out a way I can be involved in what others enjoy. For example, if your family is doing an activity that you don’t enjoy, even if you don’t want to join them, you can stand on the sidelines and cheer them on!  That way, you can be respectful and supportive of other’s interests, even if you don’t actually participate in the activity.  Another trick is to find ways to take small breaks for yourself. I’ve found that when I’m at the pool or beach when music is playing and everyone is talking at once, it helps to put in my air pods and listen to a song or two or take a walk around the block. 


Remember – The fans, the cheerleaders, even the quiet supports on the sidelines are still part of the fun!

Until next time 

Sarah Matincheck

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