Sport for kids with Autism

Cindy - posted on 10/22/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

110

8

13

Hi. My son is seven and has very high Functioning Autism bordering on Aspergers. After a long struggle he is finally going to school next year. This is a big victory for us.



What i would like to know is what sports are good for kids with autism. He wants to play Rugby and Tennis. I'm not sure about the Rugby, he isn't a team player.



Please let me know what you think.



Thanks!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jen - posted on 10/30/2009

7

10

0

My son has Asperger's, ADHD and tourettes. He is seven and is on a soccer team doing great! No autistic child is a team player but you need to open that world up for him and it will be hard at first. We did lots of sports summer camps at the YMCA first and gave them all the info on our son upfront. We did lots of early intervention with our son such as speach at 22months, OT started at 3.5, behavioral therapy at 4 and now we are looking for social groups for learning how to socialize better. Congrats on school...we are so blessed to have a great school currently.

Heather - posted on 10/31/2009

180

21

24

My son has mild to moderate Aspergers and he loves wrestling. he doesn't need to try out to be on the team and it is a great outlet for his adhd

Andrea - posted on 10/25/2009

2

54

0

My daughter has PDD and does sports with the special olympics. She loves it. Anything that you can get him into would be great for him. My daughter is 11 years old and I just started this with her last fall. If you would like more advice. I would be happy to help.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

29 Comments

View replies by

HELENA - posted on 10/01/2012

1

0

0

KARATE - MY CHILD IS JOINED WORLD TANG SOO DO - AND IT HAS REALLY DONE WONDERS FOR HIM - THEY ARE NATIONWIDE... HE HAS ASPERGER / PDD / ADHD...

Sharon - posted on 06/04/2011

1

0

0

My son has AS and has been playing rugby at the local club for three years now - tackling and everything. He started when he was 7 and we are currently playing his 3rd season of rugby. It began by my asking him to pick one individual sport (he picked golf) and one team sport. I thought he was going to go for soccer. When he said rugby I was a bit surprised. He loves playing in a team and there are some difficulties of his being odd in front of his team. But he loves the game. I think what's really important is that he is assigned tasks to play the game - we call it his job on the field. Cheers!

Renee - posted on 10/30/2009

621

28

139

My son is 8 years old and I've introduced him to Tennis as it is a sport which he can play as a single player. He enjoys it although we just play for fun not competitive yet. It's something we can do together and he doesn't have to worry about running with a ball like in soccer and maybe scoring a goal for the other team which is very awkward socially. I have heard of children on the spectrum doing things like martial arts which teaches self control and discipline. And that is something he can practice alone at home without a big team watching.

CORSALIA - posted on 10/30/2009

39

15

4

If he enjoys sports---then he should definitely be involved. In my opinion---anything he feels comfortable with. He should have some voice-as he will know what he feels comfortable with.

Maria - posted on 10/30/2009

1

3

0

Hi my son is 5 years oldd and is high functioning, we take him and his brother who is typical to swimming lessons at the local swimming school. He is doing so well, he really enjoys going. His occupational therapist encourages him swimming as it helps his gross motor, muscle tone (he is really floppy with his movements) and it will help his motor planning difficulties. The stuctured environment and the repetitiveness of the lesson soothes him as he knows what is coming up next. Good luck, I say try anything until you find one that fits in with your son.

Jacqueline - posted on 10/29/2009

1

32

0

I went through the same challenge with now 7 year old son about 2 years ago. I have another son who is 11 months older than him and he was in youth wrestling. My then 5 year old acted like he wanted to do it so I let him try. The great thing is he doesnt care if he wins or loses he just enjoyed being out there on the mat. I guess what I'm suggesting is you allow your son to Try it and see what happens there are alot of sports out there that a child can be involved in just encourage them to try. My 7 year old was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when he was.

Lisa - posted on 10/28/2009

14

0

1

Hi, what I suggest is do google search on childrens sports leagure around your area catering to children on the Austism Spectrum. I live in NYC and last spring I finally found a baseball team dedicated to children with Autism and other learning / physical disabilities. It is adaptive baseball, so basically the children all took turns hitting the ball and running the bases. They did not play the field but it was so much fun. My son enjoyed it very much and looked forward to his weekly game. Good Luck and take lot's of pictures. :-)

Heidi - posted on 10/28/2009

3

2

0

We have tried several sports. My son who is now 11 loves to bowl. Its theraputic with the heaviness of the ball. He is on a team but its also an individual sport at the same time. Look into your local bowling alley they may have youth leagues. This is our 5th year and he loves it.

Denise - posted on 10/27/2009

15

24

0

karate or tikwondo helps kids focus and most instrutors give extra help to kids with disabilities,also boyscouts

Caroline - posted on 10/27/2009

8

4

0

we have just discovered autistic sport heaven! It's called floorball in the u.k.,a sort of indoor,non agressive unihoc. the whole team [nearly]has a.s.d.'s

Robyn - posted on 10/26/2009

1

9

0

My son has Aspergers. He loves tennis. I also have him in karate. Both help with motor skills and concentration.

Veros - posted on 10/25/2009

11

5

1

MY son is a HFA and plays "typical" soccer via the AYSO and loves it. We are planning to get him into gymnastics soon to work on his self control, discipline, focus and muscle strength. No problems with soccer to date. We've also participated in short six to eight week sport programs via the YMCA.

Sheryl - posted on 10/25/2009

22

0

0

Our son, who is 8, plays soccer and goes out for swimteam. He loves both and the kids are wonderful with him. Our soccer league is a real casual sport, but he loved being goalie! It was also good for him to be with his friends in a different environment than school. Next summer he wants to play baseball and next fall he will be old enough to do flag football. I haven't decided on those yet - they are a lot more complicated and competitive. We are also at the practices for his sports, just in case something "happens." He sometimes needs help being in the right spot at the right time and following directions. It has been a great experience for him. good luck!

Pam - posted on 10/25/2009

13

14

0

we have a Challenger Baseball League in our community. every child gets to bat, field, etc.. great way to get them outside, active, and socializing by cheering on their team!

Tammy - posted on 10/25/2009

17

10

1

Organized sports are really difficult for these children. We have tried several and bombed due to the fact that the rules are so rigged and he can't seem to comprehend why there are certain rules in place. We joined the Special Olympics swim team last year and he did very well and we intend to join the regular swim team next year. These children seem to love the water and there aren't very many rules or regulations that they have to follow, so it works out well.

Jill - posted on 10/24/2009

31

8

13

If he is keen on rugby there is a new beginner level called Rippa rugby or try touch rugby where he wouldn't get hurt, also my son is keen on squash and martial arts which he is learning at school(College 6th form).

Barb - posted on 10/24/2009

10

31

1

I think tennis would be good but I would shy away from rugby. I don't know about your son but I fear that behavior can be influenced by rough sports. I'll say this. I would not choose for mine to play rugby. But having said that, Anything that is of interest to the child and helps them develope social skills deserves careful and due consideration! Hope it all turns out well for you and your son!

Francie - posted on 10/23/2009

39

14

3

I think it depends a lot on the temperament of your son. I wouldn't give up on the idea of a team sport under the right circumstances - especially if there is a sport that he is really interested in learning. My son has Asperger's and is high functioning and I realize his experience is not typical of many kids with autism - he plays ice hockey and has since he was 6 years old (he's 14 now). He loves it -- it is the one activity that really brings him joy. He's never going to be a pro - but having a team sport to give him a peer group with whom he has something in common has been a good thing. That said, I would make sure that any team sport your son is involved in has a LOT of adult supervision. With hockey, there are always adults interacting with the kids on the ice, there isn't much time when they are out of earshot or unnoticed so there isn't as much opportunity for bullying. And, it is a tremendously physical sport - after hockey practice, my son is able to sleep like a baby.

Christine - posted on 10/23/2009

43

6

6

My son has Autism Spectrum Disorder (High functioning) and I have him in semi-private swimming lessons (two person) at a private swim club and he loves it! I would definately recommend this as swimming in my opinion is a life skill.

Kristie - posted on 10/23/2009

4

45

1

I've heard martial arts are great if you find the right teacher. I would also add track and field. My son does 100M dash, and he LOVES shot put! I think it's a weight thing. I just tried to make it more of a "you're competing against yourself" rather that trying to beat others. Otherwise who knows? In between events he wanders around exploring.

Cindy - posted on 10/23/2009

110

8

13

I've forgotten about Playball. He did when he was five, and loooved it. It helped him alot. I will surely try to find out where they offer classes for the older kids. Thanks for all the suggestions

Beth - posted on 10/22/2009

4

20

0

My son is 6 years old and I just put him in Marshall Arts Class they know he has autism and they are willing to work with him and he is enjoying it.

Lisa - posted on 10/22/2009

173

64

61

May I suggest Tae Kwon Do? It teaches good concepts, has a social skills component and is based on respect. Tennis may be a good fit for your son. I know of a few other aspies who have done extremely well with the one on one competitive sport. I would definetly stay away from team sports as a whole. The social aspect and also chaos of it all makes it very difficult for our kids to succeed.

Cathy - posted on 10/22/2009

32

11

3

We have a Miracle League in our town. It's sports for kids with mental and physical disabilities. They have a buddy system so each child is provided a buddy (usually a teenager) to help them if needed. Some buddies push wheel chairs around the bases. Our league has soccer, baseball and bowling. My kids love it! Towns around us have the same leagues but are called different things like Angel League and Buddy League. You might check with your local parks and rec centers.

Sheila - posted on 10/22/2009

837

9

263

If there is a Playball program (it is international) around you, look into it. It ends at age six here, but I know it is offered to older school aged children. It is a fabulous program that is based on skill building and fairplay. I can't tell you how wonderful the philosophy behind this program is....I have known MANY moms and dads in this area who have entered their children in the various programs offered (starts at age 3) and EVERY single one has had nothing but great things to say. It really is a great program. You can look it up online.



Oh, and if they don't offer one, and you are interested....get a group together and see if there is an instructor who will take on your group.



Both of my kids (typical and nontypical) LOVED this program.



Good Luck! Have fun.



And, if he's not a team player...golf, track, swimming! Compete against the course or yourself and you alway win :o)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms