Activities for Mentally Challenged Adults

By Kelly O'Gea

Mentally challenged is a broad term for adults who suffer from developmental disabilities that impair their cognitive functioning and behavior, such as autism, dementia or cerebral palsy, to name a few examples. Life for mentally challenged adults can often be difficult, which is why it is important to incorporate engaging activities into their schedule. You will find that such activities are likely to provide benefits beyond entertainment.

Musical Activities

Musical therapy has been proven to have a positive effect on the mentally challenged, but you do not need to be trained in musical therapy to incorporate it into a mentally challenged adult's life. Depending on the level of ability, there are a variety of activities fit for mentally challenged adults ranging from taking lessons to learn their favorite instrument to attending a concert or a musical. Even home-bound adults can benefit from music by taking the time to listen to music during the day or watching a musical movie. Benefits include improved behavior and lower stress levels, to name a few.

Art Activities

Art has also been found to have therapeutic benefits much in the same way music has. Set aside time and find a work area where you can set up paints, clay and other art supplies for a mentally challenged adult to use. Being given the ability to use art supplies to create in a freeing atmosphere can not only help with self esteem and mood, but it can also allow mentally challenged adults to express themselves in ways they might not otherwise be able.

Exercise and Sports Activities

Exercise and sports activities are also dependent upon the individual's ability level. Whether you are tossing around a beach ball, shooting hoops or swimming, you will find there are physical activities that are adaptable for a variety of capabilities. You can arrange these activities on your own or you can consult your local YMCA, which may have special programs and activities for mentally challenged adults. Engaging in physical activities can boost self esteem and can improve coordination in other aspects of life.

Social Clubs and Organizations

One of the most significant aspects of activities for mentally challenged adults is the opportunity to socialize with others. There are a variety of organizations that support and focus on those with mental and physical disabilities. Getting involved with local chapters or clubs in your area will offer further opportunities for mentally challenged adults to participate in activities that will provide them with entertainment, socialization and ways to improve multiple areas of life as well as life skills.

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