Article 18: How Gymnastics can assist in Autism
Autism Edge Series
I am very excited to share this series with you. Autism Edge was born through the journey I have embarked gathering insight and knowledge along the way. I would love to share what I have learnt in the last 6 years with you.
Playing a sport is a way to keep healthy, to learn how to socialize with peers, and to have fun. As for a child on the autism spectrum, their might be different aspects in having your child play a sport, but you may have concerns about how your child’s autism-related symptoms may change his or her ability to participate.
Maybe your child has motor coordination or attention difficulties that you are worried about or maybe you are concerned that your child’s social difficulties will get in the way. While team sports may not be appropriate, there are other options that your child can take part in. That does not mean that your child on the spectrum can’t participate. Some do so quite successfully.
Keep in mind that your child has an interest in taking part in a sport. When coming to a decision on a sport type, think about how to support your child in this journey, whether it be pre-teaching rules or pre-preparations to what to expect and strategies you can follow when in the situation. introducing your child to coaches and some players prior to the practice, or looking for a friend on the team t
I want to specifically talk about gymnastics. Once you have registered your child with autism in gymnastics, the journey starts. Once registered and ready to go, prepare yourself that it might take a few times before your child warm up to the idea and environment. But when they want to take extra turns on the trampoline and reach for the high bar, you know they are learning and having fun.
What is the benefits of autistic children doing gymnastics you might think? Gymnastics is a sport that provides an enriching environment. A sport that gives opportunities for stimulating the mind and brain, developing social skills, and strengthening gross and fine motor skills. It also gives an alternative and different method for learning and developing new skills. Concentration or focus is needed in each skill which means that over time their focus time span will improve.
Children with autism have the opportunity to develop the vestibular system and increase spatial awareness. Connections that the brain is building when seeing the routines on different apparatus. The sport of gymnastics provides a highly structured and organized environment, thus helps them with participating.
As children with autism continue to develop their social skills, gymnastics provide a safe place to practice communication. The sport of gymnastics provides a sensory-rich environment while using physical exercise to develop fine and gross motor skills. Gross and fine motor skills (also mentioned in previous articles https://straussacadamia.wixsite.com/straussacadamiablog/post/a-r-t-i-c-l-e-9-v-e-s-t-i-b-u-l-a-r-a-n-d-o-l-f-a-c-t-o-r-y-s-y-s-t-e-m-a-u-t-i-s-m) are developed through gymnastics skills such as running and jumping.
The following Gymnastic center has more information and articles on gymnastics as well as professionals who are always keen to assist.
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