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10 Cool Ways for People on the Spectrum to Beat the Heat

July 17, 2013

It is hot out! There is a severe heat wave affecting the majority of the US. Here are some tips to help keep your family calm, cool and happy during these long summer days!

Stay inside! It’s just not safe to be outside in many places at the moment:

  1. Try going to a water park, public pool, air-conditioned store or mall. There are some water parks that have special days set aside for families with children with special needs, also that make accommodations including front of the line passes to avoid waiting too long for rides. Check out a blog post about a water park community event in Minnesota!
  2. The movie theater is also a great option. Autism Speaks has a Summer Nights partnership with AMC theaters for summer movies and AMC has a Sensory-Friendly films program as well.
  3. Visit the Autism Speaks Resource Library for a list of Toys and Games for individuals with autism for suggestions for indoor activities. You can also check out our extensive list of autism apps for some recommendations for fun new games and therapeutic tools.
  4. Check out a list of 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism from

Plan sensory activities that can keep you cool:

  1. Water play in the sink or bathtub. Practice pouring drinks using a pitcher and cups, soak up water with sponges and squeeze it back out, or experiment with which toys float and sink.
  2. Mix food coloring or powdered tempera paint with water then freeze in ice cube trays for some fund painting with ice.
  3. Turn down the lights and make shadow puppets on the wall, either with your hands or by cutting images out of paper.  This is a great fine motor activity!

Changes to your child’s schedule can be difficult.  Help prepare your child if the routine has to change:

  1. Talk to your child about the weather and why it’s important to stay inside.
  2. Explain the importance of drinking lots of water when it’s hot out.
  3. Create a schedule of the fun activities and games you have planned for the day, so your child knows what to expect and has something to look forward to.

The following sites will provide you with more general information about staying safe and cool during the heat wave: