16 Dec 2022

Five activities for people with autism that you can do with them

Planning activities for people who are on the autism spectrum can be challenging. Working around their sensory, social and communication challenges can make it difficult …

Planning activities for people who are on the autism spectrum can be challenging. Working around their sensory, social and communication challenges can make it difficult for them to engage in activities and hobbies that they enjoy.

With autism being a spectrum condition, it’ll have an impact on how the child or adult engages in the activities you’ve planned for them. For example, a child on the severe end of the autism spectrum may be nonverbal and have severe sensory overload. This means that the child may need more support engaging in recreational activities.

We’ve included in this article five activities for people with autism that you can do with them.

Solving puzzles

Solving puzzles is a popular activity that you can get involved with, particularly with children and adults on the autism spectrum. As people with autism often think in pictures over words, solving a jigsaw can help develop their cognitive and social skills, such as working in team environments and turn taking.

Puzzles can also help promote problem solving skills for people with autism. Normal, everyday situations can leave a child or adult with autism feeling anxious and unsure about how to best tackle that situation they’re in. With a puzzle, there is only one solution and that’s putting the puzzle together.

Playing video games

Video games are an excellent activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. You need to find a video game genre that they enjoy playing with you. Some great games for autistic adults may include playing a racing game, such as Formula One or Gran Turismo, where they can spend hours driving around their favourite track in a car.

Rather than leave them on their own, you can make an effort to get involved in the game they’re playing. Asking questions and spending some time learning how to play the game can make the activity for you and the person with autism more fun, social and engaging.


Swimming is a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed by people with autism as the water can help them calm down if they’re stressed, angry or anxious. If an adult with autism has swum since they were a child, swimming provides the perfect outlet to help release any stress that they have in their body.

Unlike other sports, such as football and basketball, which are team-based, swimming is an individual sport. If you and your child swim for a club, you can attend those sessions during the week. It provides the perfect opportunity for you to spend some quality time together while being part of a like-minded community.

Arts and crafts 

In terms of fun autism activities for adults and children, arts and crafts provide a medium to help express themselves. For example, if they find verbal communication challenging, then they may be able to do so by painting a picture of how they’re feeling today.

If the person with autism does not like painting, there are other arts and crafts activities that they can do. From playing a musical instrument to writing poetry and making ceramics, it’s all about finding an activity that they not only enjoy, but also using that medium to communicate with you and other people.

Cooking and baking

Cooking and baking is a wonderful activity to do with your child with autism as it enables you to work together with them to create a delicious meal or snack. If your child loves eating lasagne, why not include them in making the dish from start to finish?

Most individuals with autism may be sensitive to the texture, smell and taste of food. You should discuss in advance with them what dish, dessert or snack that they want to make. By doing this, it means that you and your child are happy with what you are going to cook or bake.

Finding an activity that you can enjoy together with an individual with autism will take some time, but it can be incredibly rewarding when they’ve found a hobby that they love. Rather than jumping straight into the activity they’re engaged in, observe and follow what they’re doing, whether that’s watching their favourite TV show or sport.

If you’ve always felt different throughout your life,  you may be on the autism spectrum. Rather than wait several months to see a specialist, you can get an immediate assessment through our Adult Autism Assessment service. Our team will provide a full diagnostic assessment to determine whether you are on the autism spectrum or not.

The Autism Service has multiple clinics that are located across the UK, where you can get an assessment to see if you are on the autism spectrum. For any questions about how we diagnose children and adults for ASD or if you want to arrange a booking for an autism assessment, you can contact us today.

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