Playworks strives to embody our core values—Healthy Play, Healthy Community, Respect, and Inclusion—in every game we play. This year, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation connected us with Laureus Ambassador Bob Lujano, a US Paralympic athlete, a rugby national champion, and an expert in the field of inclusion. Playworks is proud to present tips from Bob Lujano for adapting games to make play as inclusive as possible for students with special needs.

Adapting Games for Students with Autism

  1. For students with Autism, additional visual cues can be even more important. For example, could you chalk each square of foursquare in different colors?
  2. Many students with Autism may be sensitive to noise. Monitor students for signs of stress from noise and adjust if possible. For example, we know that getting super loud can be fun sometimes, but can you also create time when clapping, cues, etc. are softer? Then, if you want to have a loud moment, you can develop a system with the student to give him or her a heads up.
  3. Students with Autism may be more sensitive to textures. Consider changing equipment if needed. For example, students may prefer to close their eyes instead of wearing a blindfold. Additionally, for some games that include stuffed animals, like Bob the Bunny, students may prefer an object with a different texture.
  4. All the guidelines in my blog Adapting Games for Students with ADHD can help students with Autism play as well.

Blogs in this series:

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA Ambassador Bob Lujano meeting with Playworks Junior Coaches in Minneapolis.


More Resources

kids playing duck duck goose
kids playing duck duck goose

April 29, 2021

Leveraging Play to Address Learning Loss ›

In order to help kids recover from learning loss, we must ensure their emotional needs are met. We need to prioritize every child’s wellbeing, and that starts with acknowledging that many kids are healing from traumas caused by the pandemic, including social, emotional, and physical impacts of COVID-19.  “When children experience stress and trauma, it…

woman smiling at laptop
woman smiling at laptop

January 5, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Virtually ›

Many educators have risen to the challenge of transitioning their lessons to accommodate virtual education, and Playworks has been helping educators ensure play remains in every child’s day, even online. Kids prioritize play, and with our support educators are leveraging play when teaching virtually in order to keep kids engaged, active, and to build community.…

kids and adult doing yoga
kids and adult doing yoga

October 6, 2020

Using Play to Foster Social Connections and Physical Activity ›

Play isn’t just fun and games – it’s a vital aspect of our health and well-being. When we play, we engage our bodies, minds, and senses, creating opportunities for increased physical activity, learning, and connection with others. Play can even help relieve stress and support the development of important social-emotional skills, including communication and cooperation.…