Third in a series of what I think would make a fulfilling and happy life for my autistic daughter Lily.
Fun and recreation
One positive aspect of having a young daughter who has severe autism is that I do not have to worry about her riding around in cars, DUI, drugs and the like. She does enjoy cars, though, especially this one.
One of her favorite things to do with Dad in the summer is to go for a ride in the Jaguar, often with a favored stuffed bear or plastic toy along for the ride. She raises the toy up into the wind and squeals with joy as if she were taking her friend on an amusement park ride.
Lily also enjoys walking the dog, skiing, walking in the woods, sailing, swimming, rollerblading and bike riding. She will walk at the mall after dark and in the rain; she does not usually shop, though she enjoys all the architectural detail on the various storefronts.
The activities at the group home she is in now are somewhat confined to mall visits, brief walks outside if the weather is good (her staff thinks it is cold if it is 50 degrees). No one knows how to manage to take her bike riding or roller-blading, forget skiing. It does take planning and effort and outings are not always successful. Her housemates do not prefer the same activities and there are not enough staff to be more individualized.
Swimming is something they manage well because they take her group to a pool for disabled people during the day. They cannot imagine going to the YMCA or a community pool or beach and would require 1 to 1 staff for safety, so they do not go.
It would be great if Lily could somehow be more involved in activities with the community. Her new house manager is working on this but the bottom line is cost of staff and finding capable staff.
I do not expect them to give her all the opportunities that we do on vacations and weekends. I would like her to participate in everyday recreational opportunities in the community that she enjoys and enrich her life.