Saturday, July 13, 2024

Can Autistic People Play Sports

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Most neurotypical people dont know much about how to accommodate autistic people in conversation . Often, youll be waiting for people to catch up to you, and thats frustrating. When people arent quite getting you or youre in a situation thats generally a mismatch like a job that requires lots of social interaction the distress or overwhelm can easily lead to a meltdown.

Being ridiculously outspoken has helped to get me a position as head of discipline for a High School of over 600 students. You can imagine in that situation that meltdowns are predictable, primarily because of the amount of interactions I have to have daily. I am also a hyper intellectual which makes me see things first, in a manner of speaking. When I see what other people should be seeing, I will often wait for them to come to the realization within a situation and when they dont, I can get anxious. Darin J.

Parents Of Special Needs Children Can Introduce Their Kids To Innovative Methods To Enhance Their Motor And Social Skills Social Skills Help Children With Autism To Learn How To Act In Different Situations

Playing sports is a great way to stay healthy and active, while learning the much-requisite social skills. Children with autism take a bit longer than other kids to learn and adapt social skills. Sports and recreational activities play an important role in the development of the autistic child. These activities help in building physical and mental strength, determination and endurance among children. As every kid is unique in their diagnosis, similarly their requirements will also vary. Parents must look for the ideal sports which will be helpful for their child.

Motivate and inspire your children to participate in more team sports activities as it involves communication, consideration, compassion, connection and then cooperation, which will be helpful for the child to indulge in building social skills.

Social skills help children with autism to learn how to act in different situations which include interacting with grandparents and friends at school. Such skills are useful for a child to learn from others, in developing hobbies and inculcate interests, improve a childs mental health and quality of life. It also helps children to bond with family and develops a sense of belonging.

Weighing The Risks And Rewards

Quigley says that for many people who are enduring the psychological effects of the pandemicwhether vaccinated adults or unvaccinated youthsports offer benefits that may rival the risks.

“I think we need to look at the question, what is the psychological impact of not letting those young people participate in sports?” Quigley says. “The CDC is lightening up and letting young people go back to school because they realize that very few young people are really getting sick when they are infected. It all has to be put into perspective.”

If the players and spectators follow social distancing guidelines and support staff continue to enforce rigorous hygiene standards with high touch areas and items, Quigley says that the risk of transmission should stay remarkably low.

When everyone plays by the “new” rules of pandemic life, pros and amateurs alike can get back the physical and psychological benefits of participating in team sports.

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What About League Sports

League sports might be safer to play beyond your pod. Each league should be instituting safety practices to inform members of possible infections.

Many leagues have also stuck to smaller scrimmages that allow team members to stay within a circle of people that they know. However, without regular testing , there’s no guarantee of safety.

Team Sports That May Be A Poor Match

Intro to Sports for Kids with Autism

While there are always exceptions to the rule, cooperative team sports such as soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and hockey may be particularly tough for a child with autism. That’s because:

  • Coordination: Team sports that require ball or puck handling also require a high level of strength and coordination. Autism often goes along with lowered muscle tone and problems with coordination. As a result, autistic children may have a tough time playing well.
  • Environment: Team sports are often played in environments that are very hot, cold, loud, or bright. Most children with autism have sensory challenges that make loud noise, bright lights, and temperature extremes difficult to handle. The outcome can be a very unhappy or even uncooperative child.
  • Social communication: Teams are all about social communication, and playing team sports requires advanced social communication skills. Autism is a disorder in which those skills are compromised. It can be tough for autistic kids to fit into a team, communicate well with team members, or predict what another team member is likely to do.

All that said, however, many groups are eager to provide autistic children with opportunities to take part in team sports “just like everyone else.”

If your child seems interested, you may want to look into special needs sports teams such as those created by the Challenger Club, which offers opportunities designed specifically for kids with challenges and disabilities.

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How Common Is Autism

Researchers don’t know exactly how many people in the United States have ASD.

The latest estimates suggest that about one out of every 68 childrenor 1.5% of childrenin the United States has autism. About 36,500 of every 4 million children born each year in the U.S. will have autism.

ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Studies in Europe, North America and Asia show an average prevalence of people with autism between 1% and 2% of the population.

ASD is about 4.5 times more common among boys than among girls.

Teaching Physical Education To Students With Autism

Most children learn the ins and outs of sports, from high-fives to the offside rule of soccer, in physical education class. But these often noisy, crowded classes may make children with sensory and social problems miserable. And it can be hard to get individual instruction with 30 or more other children in the class.

Physical education teacher Brian Wagner understands more than most the problems students with autism face in the gym. Mr. Wagner teaches at Kennedy Krieger High School, a nonpublic school for students with developmental disabilities, and has a degree in special education.

Some of his students come from schools where they did not get the attention or accommodations he provides in his smaller class. It’s not uncommon for him to hear that a new student “hates” P.E. class, he said. At a previous school, that student may have struggled to learn skills or understand the rules of a game, while his classmates became impatient. “These students think, ‘I can’t do this so why am I even bothering to try?'” he said.

In his class, Mr. Wagner routinely breaks down complex motor skills into small tasks and teaches them step-by-step. He also adjusts the rules of a game as necessary to accommodate students who struggle with remembering them. In this way, he hopes to make physical activity enjoyable for students with special needs.

  • Todd, T. Teaching Motor Skills to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Oct 2012 83, 8.
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    Autism: Integration In Society And Work

    Doing things with everybody and like everybody else when youre autistic? It is possible! While autism implies certain difficulties that must be taken into account, its particular features are also an asset for certain activities. We favour the integration of people with autism into society, work, creation, sport… because it benefits us all. Sharing our talents, learning from our differences to succeed together.

    Taking action for the integration and independence of people with autism completes our historic commitment in research, the welcome places, learning through digital technology. We finance these new integration actions which benefit over 3,500 people per year, wherever they fall on the autistic spectrum. Our actions take many forms:

    Are Certain Social Skills Necessary For Sports

    How playing sports benefits your body … and your brain – Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh

    Safety isn’t the only barrier to sports and recreation sometimes understanding the rules and social conventions of games can keep a child with autism from participating.

    Kim Martin had tried soccer and swimming programs with son Finn, now 8. Finn had crawled and walked late, and even now his physical coordination is not quite as developed as other boys his age, she said. But his physical skills were not the problem in playing sports, said Ms. Martin, a participant in the SSC project.

    “If the only issue we had was motor skills, we’d be fine. He has sensory issues that sometimes preclude him from using his motor skills because it’s too loud or too bright. If he’s standing there with his hands over his ears, how is he going to function in a game? We also have social and emotional challenges that other people don’t understand.”

    Many children on the spectrum find certain sports to be emotionally and socially taxing because they involve following complex rules, waiting your turn to play or get the ball, and interacting with many children all at once.

    She told him he couldn’t go back to the group until he stopped hitting. Instead, he would run with her and follow certain rules, including no touching. While they were running together, however, “he started whacking me. I said, ‘Finn, what are you doing?’ And he said, ‘Mom, high five!’

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    Autistic Youngsters Revel With Club Brugge

    Club Brugges Voetbalkraks project gives autistic children the change to play sport and feel included.

    Voetbalkraks is an initiative run by the Club Brugge, one of Belgium’s most successful sides, which gives autistic children the chance to play their favourite sport and to feel included in society.

    The project began in 2007, when one of the clubs youth coaches, who is also a teacher, grew tired of telling youngsters to compete and began using his skills in support of autistic children instead. In doing so, he harnessed footballs special ability to help young people of all backgrounds to integrate and develop.

    The project provides children who are sidelined, in both a sporting and social sense, at many clubs with a structure in which they can participate, a team to which they can belong and where they can wear the colours of the club they love with pride, Club Brugge Foundation coordinator Peter Gheysen, who heads up a number of community and social initiatives, told

    They are part of a family and their parents feel that they are part of society too. They can play football, train every week and play matches, just like any other young person.

    Just like any other young person, but in conditions perfectly tailored to their situation.

    Aside from running adapted training sessions every week, the club organises regular non-sporting activities to strengthen the youngsters sense of belonging to the Bleue et Noire family and improve their social integration skills.

    Is It Safe To Watch Games

    Spectators are another risk group to think about. Even if you aren’t planning on hitting the court or field yourself, you might wonder whether it’s safe to go watch a child’s little league game or cheer your friends on during a pick-up basketball game at the park.

    “I think that’s the even bigger risk,” Paultre says. “If someone is going out there because they really want to play competitively, they will control many of their behaviors off the field. But the spectators are often standing shoulder to shoulder, and that’s a much bigger concern.”

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    Things Autistic People Say Can Trigger A Meltdown

    Many people on the autism spectrum experience meltdowns, and contrary to the negative stereotypes out there, meltdowns are not a behavior issue that require an intervention, but coping tools and accommodation. They are a normal reaction to feeling flooded in an overwhelming environment that is usually not designed to take into account the needs of neurodiverse people.

    Maxine Share, a self-advocate and autism expert consultant, emphasized that unlike what people may perceive, autistic meltdowns are not behavior issues. They can be the result of sensory overload, pent up emotions or difficulty with changes. When the body and mind are unable to process what is taking place and some individuals do experience physical pain from too much sensory input kicking, crying, screaming or shutting down can happen during a meltdown.

    Its important to understand what can trigger one in the first place, from overstimulation or uncomfortable social situations.The Mighty reached out the the experts actually autistic individuals to share what triggers their meltdowns. When we better understand our neurodiverse friends, then we can learn to better support their needs in the moment.

    These were some of their responses:

    Allowing A Child With Autism To Play Their Favourite Sport With Normal Children

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    It is possible since we have signed an agreement allowing autistic children between 18 months and 9 years old to play sport at ASPTT clubs. A group of normal children are led by a teacher. The autistic child is supported by a specialised teacher who has prepared them for the exercises in advance using a tablet. All the children can play sports together, breaking down barriers.

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    Top Athletes On The Autism Spectrum

    She cant play softball. She wont be able to fit into the team environment He cant be part of the golf team. He will be a disruption to the other golfers He cant swim competitively. He doesnt have the strength or coordination She cant become a competitive runner. She cant handle the crowds.

    Pigeonholing, typecasting, stereotyping whatever you want to call it, children on the autism spectrum too often find themselves working up hill against shortsighted assumptions and preconceived notions that try to place limits on what they can do.

    Granted, interpersonal skills and reading social cues dont come easy, there may be problems with impulse control and hyper-focusing, an inclination toward repetitive behaviors and stemming may not be the right look for an athlete.

    But while some of the behavioral, cognitive and emotional differences that define autism may make you feel like getting your kids involved in the hyper-competitive world of sports isnt the best idea, there is a growing number of athletes on the autism spectrum who have bucked the stereotypes and made a name for themselves.

    Weve assembled a list of some top athletes who are on their game, and on the spectrum. These five athletes have been killing it in everything from team sports to individual sports to extreme sports.

    A Leading Example In Baseball

    The landscape of baseball is beginning to change, first with El-Abour signing to the Twins, and now stadiums are becoming Certified Autism Centers so that they can better serve their guests who have autism.

    The Fort Myers Miracle, a Class A Advanced team for the Minnesota Twins, is one of the first to take the innovative leap and become a CAC. The entire staff at the stadium recently underwent training in autism awareness and sensitivity and they are beginning to promote an environment that is family-friendly and appropriate for those who are on the spectrum.

    Baseball stadiums can be loud, overwhelming and lead to sensory overload for individuals with autism. The Fort Myers Miracle have taken it upon themselves to change this so that everyone can have a wonderful time enjoying their games.

    The stadium is a large space where a lot of activity is constantly happening. During spring training, the Minnesota Twins train there and Miracle games typically happen several days a week during the season. The staff knew they had to be forward thinking and take steps to make the stadium suitable for families with children who have autism and adults on the spectrum in order to serve this growing population.

    Overall, the CAC training has helped the staff gain knowledge about autism and a deeper understanding of how to serve those who are on the spectrum. As a result, the stadium has become a fun, family atmosphere that is a safe place to catch a game.

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    Team Sports And Autism

    Children with autism run a busy life! Often from an early age, they are attending school programs in addition to therapy. And this therapy is often not just one session its multiple sessions of Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Applied Behaviour Analysis and/or Psychology per week! So why should they also be participating team sport, how can you justify adding more to their busy schedule?

    Benefits of Team Sports

    Participatingin physical activity can provide opportunities to develop motor skills andbetter cardiovascular health. Children with autism are 40% more likely todevelop a higher weight status than their typically developing peers. This maybe due to spending more time in sedentary behaviours and/or effects of medication. Participating in physicalactivity is shown to lower negative behaviours in children with autism andpromote behaviours that are more positive. Frequent vigorous physical activitycan improve self-stimulatory, hyperactivity and aggressive behaviours overtime.

    Soyes, adding a team sport to your childs already busy schedule can bejustified! It can benefit their physical, emotional and mental health.

    Localteam sports include

    • Aus Kick
    • Play-Cricket

    Rigidity And Need For Routine

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    Once a child with autism has learned and mastered a particular routine, it can be very difficult for them to change it. However, in the United States, children are expected to master multiple routines at once: a home routine, a school routine, and a summer routine. And these routines change constantly.

    The kindergarten routine may include learning centers and nap time, while the first-grade routine may include lining up at the cafeteria and sitting still in rows.

    For a child with autism, the change can be overwhelming, especially if it comes without warning. The outcome can be age-inappropriate behaviors or interests that come from well-learned and well-loved routines.

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