Walking in the Neighborhood


    Parent to 7-year-old twins on the spectrum

    My husband and I have always enjoyed walking but it was hard to include our kids in this relaxing activity.  It was anything but relaxing.  One of my twins is very inattentive, and does not pay attention to cars backing out of driveways.  He also tends to dart or suddenly break into a run across the street.  My other boy walks extremely slowly and it is hard for everyone else to keep pace with him.  What has helped is to have a short distance as a goal.  My husband stays close to my ‘darting’ son and slows him down to an even pace.  He holds his hand a lot in the beginning, but starts letting go after a while.  I hold my other son’s hand and speed up his pace a bit.  At the end of our short walk, we praise them differently – “Great job staying close!” to one and “Good job keeping up!” to the other.  We have been doing this quite regularly and both of their walking habits have improved quite a bit.  Other than occasional reminders, we can actually go for a relaxed family walk now.

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