Doing community service with your child with autism can be tricky. They really can’t go somewhere alone to serve nor would you want them to for that matter. Most colleges and scholarship opportunities require some sort of community service. It’s also an excellent character trait to instill in your children regardless of special needs.
How to achieve this goal requires some thought as well as commitment. I like to include the family in community service. We do it as one of our field trip days, Make a Difference Monday. It’s on the calendar for every Monday so everyone knows that we will go out and serve as a family that day. This makes it just a matter of checking with the organization to see if they will give community service hours for high schoolers. I tend to not tell them about Logan’s autism unless it’s necessary. I first approach it as we want to serve as a family. I’m sure helicopter parent comes to mind in that conversation.
Things we’ve done:
- Deliver food boxes to the elderly
- Serve at a food pantry
- Eat or serve meals with the homeless at a homeless shelter
- Coordinate a food drive for a food pantry
- Pack food for backpacks for distribution to children at schools to take home for the weekend
- Do a monthly craft time at a nursing home
- Take care of or plant a garden at a children’s home
- Raise money for Team Jimani which bought an aquaponics system for an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
- Do a game night at a local women’s shelter or children’s home
- Work at the library
- Help take care of the horses and stables at hippo therapy
- Stuff envelopes or do office work for a local charitable organization
- Read books to children at a preschool or to seniors at a nursing home
As you can see, the opportunities are boundless . You just need to be creative . Learn to keep meticulous records of time spent doing community service. Most organizations are much more inclined to sign off on a form if they don’t have to look up the hours. Some places will want to do that but it’s still a good idea to make sure the hours are correct. In the end, you make memories and your child gets another checked off for his high school requirements.
You will find many ideas on my Acts of Service Pinterest board
The rest of the series can be found here:
See what the other 26 bloggers are talking about!