A great leisure skill for spring is Gardening which can have many benifits to improving behavior.
When working with children with behavior problems including autism, developmental disabilities or attention deficits a garden can be a helpful tool in developing appropriate behavior. The first step is to involve the child in selecting the items to be in the garden. Items that can be shared with others contribute to socialization of the child. For example, if the child plants tomatoes these can be given to the mother or another family member to prepare dinner or a salad! Then the person that receives the tomato is happy and thanks or praises the child typically. There is a social exchange regarding the tomato. Similarly if the garden includes flowers these can be given to family members for special occasions such as mothers day or birthdays and this is another positive socialization between the mother or family member and the child. In addition, the garden give the child an appropriate leisure activity to do and to relax. If the child has anxiety or aggression the activity of watering the plants and picking the weeks, or planting planting planting new plant can be relaxing and lead to a decrease in inappropriate behavior such as aggression or tantrums. Another benefit of the garden can occur when the child shows the garden to others visiting or other family members. This is an opportunity for socialization while discussing the types of plants, how often they are watered, picking some of the fuit together, how many have grown so far and the size or shape of the plants. In general, a garden can provide a wonderful opportunity for reinforcement of appropriate social skills which leads to a more positive relationship with the child and improvement in overall behavior.
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