Background Participation in recreational activity by children with autism is important for health and social inclusion. However, these children and their families experience many barriers to recreation participation including parental concerns about safety and injury risks and a lack of educational resources to address children’s recreational safety needs. In this study, we are aiming to design a web-based parent resource to increase safety awareness and promote appropriate strategies for safe recreation.
Methods Using a community-based research approach, this study will engage parents and stakeholders in urban and rural settings to design a website to meet the needs of families of children with autism. Focus groups, interviews and survey methods will be used to evaluate the development, feasibility and effectiveness of the website resource.
Results Findings from parent focus groups conducted in urban and rural communities in British Columbia, Canada will be presented. These results will be used to identify priority website components to inform the blueprint for the website structure, content and design. The website design process and testing procedures will be highlighted.
Conclusion Community engagement is needed to identify unique safety needs and strategies to foster safe active recreation for children with autism. This research supports SDG #10.2 to reduce inequalities through better understanding to promote recreational inclusion for families and children living with autism.
Learning Outcomes Participants will gain: 1) awareness of family-centred priority safety issues and strategies and 2) appreciation of how community engagement approaches can inform website design to promote safe recreation for children with autism.