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How Therapeutic can Nature be for Autistic Individuals?

The simple answer: monumentally beneficial.

Following the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many children and adolescents have become have become addicted to video games and being online which is only exponentiated in those with autism, given their tendency to become extremely focused on single activities. What’s beautiful about nature is the opportunity to use that hyper fixation to focus on the minute details that can be found outdoors like the flow of a creek, the smell of a fresh garden, or just the sight of a blossoming tree, all of which can be found here at Autism Sanctuary! In addition, interacting with outdoor activities such as gardening, encounters with farm animals, and hiking on trails in such a calm and stimulating environment has been shown to enhance social skills, sensory exploration, and emotional well-being for autistic individuals.


Visit this article if you’re interested!

Our Trails

We currently have two walking trails on the 85 acre-property for our visitors to enjoy. 

The Enchanted Forest Trail is a 3/4 mile loop through the forested area of our property. It is more groomed than the other trail and is not as sloped, making it a good trail for novice hikers. This trail is also the site of our various “learning stations,” which promote skill building and creativity. 

The Spring Creek Trail is a longer trail that starts along the same path as the Enchanted Forest Trail, but diverges down a hill to allow visitors to walk along the Spring Creek. Though its steeper slope makes it more of a challenging hike, its proximity to the creek makes it a very peaceful and engaging experience for hikers.  


2860 Pea Ridge Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901


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