Intellectual disabilities in children can make it hard for parents to find appropriate leisure activities, but there are several opportunities for youths with different intellectual challenges. While the term "disability" usually refers to an IQ of less than 70, the diagnosis can be quite varied. Sometimes, ADD/ADHD is considered an intellectual disability because although the IQ may not be affected, the disorder affects a child's ability to learn. Common intellectual disabilities include autism and Down syndrome.
Swimming activities are a physical and social outlet for children that few sports beat. Swimming helps build their bodies and boosts the mental skills of all ages, according to the International Journal of Sport Psychology. The American Swimming Coaches Association proposes that the gentle pressure of water on the body helps calm some children with autism. Also, swimming underwater reduces potentially enervating noise because water is insulating.
Camping or wilderness adventures are activities that are successful for children with ADD/ADHD. The wilderness removes them from situations that can make their disorder worse, such as watching TV and playing video games. Camping is also a structured activity, which is beneficial for children with ADD/ADHD. Structure the camp or wilderness adventure with plenty of physical activity, such as bike riding, swimming or hiking.
Singing is an interactive activity that helps children, especially those with autism, learn social interaction. Those who are nonverbal can hum, play with musical instruments or make wordless noises. The point of the activity is to learn to repeat sounds and tunes. Children learn social interaction because they are mimicking each others' tunes or sounds. Singing also provides them with much needed sensory stimulation that is easier on a parent's ear than yelling.
Face games played with teachers, parents or other students help children reference other people's faces and learn cause and effect. They touch their game partner's face, who will respond with a reciprocal action. For example, if the child touches his mother's nose, the mother will close her eyes.
Sarah Meem began writing in 2007. She specializes in coverage of Middle East topics, human trafficking and human rights issues. Meem has a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and Arabic from the University of North Carolina. She is pursuing a master's degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago.