Research shows that leisure is one of the main challenging areas for children and adults with autism. This is most likely due to the high level of social interaction required in most leisure pursuits, yet it is an essential life skill as it brings a sense of physical and mental wellbeing. It is therefore essential that we encourage leisure interests as this may assist in the prevention of future mental health issues.
Teenagers with autism may excel in work tasks but find leisure tasks more difficult as they tend to be more abstract, have less structure and take place within a social context. Young people with autism will have to be explicitly taught the social nuances and mores of each environment to ensure inclusion and participation. They therefore require more explicit teaching in leisure skills. These should be hobbies and interests which they can continue after they leave school, as these leisure interests will promote a greater sense of emotional and physical wellbeing.
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