Guidelines for Increasing Participation of Children and Youth with an ASD in Extracurricular and Community Programs




Plan for Success


Challenges and Solutions





Parent Resources


Printable Brochure/Handout


About the Project



Match the Program to the Kid!


Extracurricular and community programs include activities everything from unstructured play time, dances and social events to day camps and organized sports. With a child with AS or HFA, it is important to match the child’s needs to the activity.

Program Considerations:

  • What are the child’s interests?

  • Are the activities well organized by staff?

  • Is there a consistent routine each time?

  • Are the staff and participants the same every time?

  • Are there clear rules and expectations?

  • Are simple and limited social requirements?
    • For example staff might pick teams and guide decisions.

  • Is there a clear beginning and end to activities?

  • Does the activity take place in a place that is easy for the child to tolerate?
    • For example, will the noise, smell, lights, colors, or number of things going on bother the child?

One size doesn’t fit all: Match the supports to kid!

The accommodations list below can be used as a communication tool between families and programs to help build a successful experience for the child. All kids are different; don’t be afraid to add your own ideas and what works for your child.

My child does best when she is provided with:

____ consistent routine, a detailed visual schedule, and consistent staff

____ preparation for transitions and all changes

____ clear expectations, even if they are obvious to others, and specific rules

____ break instructions into small parts, check for understanding after instructions

____ knows when to ask for help and has a specific staff person to work with

____ choices are limited

____ breaks are scheduled and structured

____ allow time for verbal responses

____ staff and other participants accept differences as okay

____ daily family-staff check-in to discuss concerns, craft solutions, and allow preparation
                for next session


It is helpful if staff members know how to tell if the child is becoming stressed. Use the space below to describe signs that may show that your child is experiencing stress.

Signs of stress (examples include, clenched fists, repeating, complaints of unfairness, shouting, shirt over his head, correcting others, etc.)



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