Autism and sports

So I was wracking my brain about what to write about today. I’m making up for yesterday so this is my second post today. I know I’ve said it’s hard to find information and I hope I don’t sound like I’m complaining about this endeavor because believe me, I’m not. But man, how to narrow it all down into a post haha! There are so many topics to discuss, like the whole immunization debate, but I’m just not spiritually fit enough to tackle that one this weekend lol. So, I was thinking about baseball, which I will be doing a lot of, and I thought hmmm, autism and baseball? So I googled it. And I found an interesting little discussion from a baseball coach to an “expert”. I can’t vouch for the qualifications of the expert, and I can’t copy and paste, because the way Voiceover works is I have to interact with bodies of text to copy, and this page is all broken up. So if you’re curious, you’ll need to follow the link.

Basically, a coach is asking about an 11 autistic boy, and how best to have him on the team. There is discussion of the need for repitition, and the coach mentions that he likes to rotate the boys to keep it fair, but that this seems to aggravate the boy with autism. He also mentions difficulty with the parents, being a separated couple, one doesn’t want the boy to play. The expert mentions that if it’s a school team, the school is obligated to provide a 1 on 1 for the boy. I’m thinking maybe it’s like a job coach kind of thing? But if the team is private, the parents will need to be responsible for finding such a person for their child.

The coach mentions that the boy seems to really enjoy a job well done, and with repitition, is a good player. The main issue, the expert points out, will be the social aspects of being on a team. I know from all my reading, that social interaction with autism is a challenge, so it must be difficult in a team situation.

So this might be something to look into a little more. What types of sports would be good for autistic children? I’m wondering if billiards would be good, since it’s just you and an opponent. I know that’s what I enjoyed about it. But it’s just raised a whole other question for me. How do people with autism, with a propensity towards athletics, find an outlet that suits them?

2 Comments

Filed under Autism, awareness month, baseball, sports

2 Responses to Autism and sports

  1. Chess is another sport that many people with autism excell at and enjoy. When I was a kid I was “forced” to play team soccer, I totally sucked at it. Eye foot or eye hand coordination and I do not go well, similar to many autistics, there is a theme of poor coordination among people on the spectrum.

    For me the sport I fell in love with was dog agility. took the team aspect out of it, it was just me, my dog and the course. And I play in a venue where the stress is not really on competing with other enthusiasts but competing against the course. Which is more my style.

    Another sport that people on the spectrum sometimes I have heard like is track and field activities. That was never my gig though I do love to walk for miles and miles. Walking is my preferred mode of transit.

    Another thing you may want to look into is some of the challenges many kids have in learning to ride a bike. They actually have entire OT sessions and classes on how to teach autistic kids how to ride a bike. it wasn’t easy for me, but I did learn how, I just lost the ability after not practicing for a while and have never taken the time to reteach myself. I laugh when people try to tell me “it’s like riding a bike, you never forget” because well, for me it isn’t, I forget!

  2. Ro

    Oh interesting. That would be rather annoying hearing, it’s just like riding a bike. I was never good at it either.

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