The Power of Exploration

My brother Chetan
Jasmeet Chahal

1 minute read - My brother, Chetan, recently started cooking classes. Honestly, this was quite a surprise as he had just finished basketball. I’ve found that he enjoys hands-on activities- cooking, sports, swimming and so forth. I think his enjoyment primarily comes from having others- whom he considers friends- around him. Chetan loves affection, support, company- basically anything to do with people.  

My mom finds new and innovative ways to spark Chetan’s interests by observing his habits. For example, Chetan loves food. Whether it be cooking with ingredients, creating dishes on his own, or watching my mom cook, he simply loves food. Hence, the cooking classes. He was previously involved in swimming, as my mom had noticed he enjoyed showering multiple times a day (probably due to the feeling of the water and the appeal of its texture to the senses).   

We also noticed his interest in round objects and gave him a basketball rather than the pebbles or marbles he usually plays with. He immediately began playing basketball and enjoying it! I would say that creativity, time, and exploration are some of the most crucial aspects to employing when considering a child with autism. Take those who are nonverbal as an example. Sometimes they may require a prompt or some exposure to potential interests as they may not effectively communicate their interests to those around them. Encouraging Chetan to experiment and explore s is what helped our family determine what his interests were.   

Not sure where to start or finding difficulty? Start small. Autism Ontario offers many low-cost programs to allow your loved one to try a new activity in a safe and inclusive environment. You can also go on walks in your local neighbourhood, go to the park, go to beaches. The point is, discover what your special someone could be capable of. Explore, experiment, be ambitious, and above all, be open-minded.   

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