Assess Abilities and Needs
Some extracurricular activities are purely for fun. Others require a certain level of ability. Making a good match between the activity and your child's unique abilities, interests, and needs is the first step.
What are your child's talents? Is she a strong athlete? Does she rally her peers to support a cause? Does she organize a campsite with little difficulty before exploring the outdoors?
Help your child consider her talents when choosing an activity for her free time. In some instances, you may see an aptitude or talent that your child has not yet recognized. Encourage, but don't force, her to explore those areas.
Talk with your child about her unique needs. Disability does not mean lack of ability. It does mean that she may need support to be successful with her chosen activity. In some instances a disability presents a safety concern. Work with your child to find activities that promote her personal development without putting her in physical danger.
Your child should be able to explain her disability by the time she completes grade school. She should know how it impacts her unique needs at school, at home, and in the community. Remind your child that her unique needs do not cancel her responsibilities, only the way in which they are accomplished.
Extracurricular activities should be challenging. They should provide relaxation, satisfaction, and in most cases — socialization. Above all, they should be enjoyable.
Talk to your child about the kinds of things she likes to do. Here are some questions to get you started:
What is your favorite thing to do outdoors?
What do you like best about rainy days?
Would you rather do something just by yourself or with some friends?
Is doing art projects at school fun?
Tell me something that would be fun to learn.