Bounce Energy Celebrates Autism Awareness Month

By Josh Crank, April 18, 2018, Charity & Community, Family

Bounce Energy strives to be much more than your energy retailer. Our goal is to be a true community partner with a mission to help others and recognize everyone who makes our communities special. That’s why we’d like to take this moment to recognize April as Autism Awareness Month, and to encourage our members to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder and the organizations that serve the autism community.

Autism is an extremely complex disability that affects one in every 68 children born in the United States. It is a spectrum disorder, which means that individual experiences with autism vary greatly in type and severity. Some of the most common challenges that people with autism face include difficulties with verbal communication, motor planning, eye contact and sensory stimulation like loud noises or bright lights.

Bounce Energy Celebrates Autism Awareness Month | Bounce Energy Blog

The prevalence of autism in the United States is on the rise, and events like Autism Awareness Month are so important because they help parents recognize the signs of autism early. Early diagnosis and intervention with specialized therapies is proven to improve outcomes for children with autism and help them to live fuller, more independent lives.

Autism Awareness Month is also an opportunity to teach people who have little or no experience with the autism community about ways they can offer support. Sometimes, small accommodations are all it takes to remove significant barriers for people with autism, but these accommodations aren’t always intuitive for people who are neurotypical. Organizations like The Autism Society and Autism Speaks provide resources and training opportunities for anyone who wants to learn how to support those who see the world differently.

Bounce Energy is proud to support the early diagnosis and treatment of autism and all disabilities and illnesses through its partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. As part of the Direct Energy family of brands, Bounce Energy helped to raise more than $2.3 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 2017.

Sensory Activities for Kids With Autism

Many children who have autism learn and play differently, especially when it comes to their sensory perception. Sight, touch, sound, taste and smell can be what makes an activity fun and engaging or stressful and difficult.

Bounce Energy Celebrates Autism Awareness Month | Bounce Energy Blog

If there’s a child on the autism spectrum who you love, or if you’re making plans to organize games, art projects or crafts for children with autism, here are some tried-and-true suggestions for sensory-friendly activities:

  • Sensory bottles. When you can’t get messy, you can still give a goopy, sparkly sensory experience to your child with a sensory bottle — a clear, sealed bottle filled with things like oil, soap, glitter, beans and small toys. Children can choose the materials and help fill the bottles, and when they’re finished, they’ll have a mesmerising and soothing toy they can take anywhere.
  • Sensory bins. There are few things more satisfying to little hands than plunging them into a big bin of dried beans, dyed rice, shaving cream or just about anything else that offers a unique tactile experience. You can get bins large enough for children to sit in while they play, and if you’re having a hard time keeping everything contained, just set your bin on a sheet or blanket. When play is over, lift the corners to scoop everything back into the bin!
  • Bubble wrap stomp painting. If finger painting is getting a little old, try this: make little bubble wrap socks for your child, smear the soles with washable paint and let her stomp, jump and dance all over a large roll of paper. It feels funny on the feet, cleanup is easy and you’ll have an eclectic work of art when you’re all done.
  • Make edible slime. Many kids love the oozy mess of play slime, but for children who may put things in their mouth, not all slime is safe. Fortunately, you can make a completely safe version at home using cornstarch, water and food coloring. Take this fun outside or pile it on a plastic tablecloth for easy cleanup.
  • Color sorting pom poms. You can practice matching skills and motor skills simultaneously with this game made from paper towel tubes, fuzzy pom poms, oversized tweezers and a big plastic bin. Paint the tubes to match the colors of the pom poms and tape them vertically to the side of the bin. Kids will love picking up the pom poms (which can be a great challenge for children on the spectrum) and sorting them by color.

Children with autism explore their world in a different way, and you can help make sure they grow up feeling loved, respected and understood. If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate Autism Awareness Month with us, look for upcoming volunteer opportunities in Texas!

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