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Readers Respond: What Are the Best Sports for Kids with Autism?

Responses: 23

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Updated May 19, 2009

What are the best sports for kids with autism? Does your child do well with individual or team sports? Does he enjoy land or water sports? Share your insights, experiences and recommendations. Share Your Ideas

Archers for Autism

check out www.archersforautism.org or just google Archers for Autism. It's an archery club for autistic children in Indianapolis!
—Guest the PRES

Individual sports give confidence

My Aspie son has thrived with swim team! It builds confidence, gives a sense of "family" and reduces anxiety. Great exercise, and the repetition, and set rules are good fit for my son who needs routine.
—Guest Alicia Carlson

skiing

My daughter who is a PDD NOS picked up skiing at age 5 and just loves it. It was very difficult in the beginning as she learned between our legs for a year or two. Loves the snow and loves shooshing down the mountain more than spinning. Something about the white snow and the wind in her face helps her to focus. Typically clumsy on her feet - great balance on her skis. I agree with one of the previous posts...never underestimate. Although soccer was bit of a laughable failure for us.
—Guest macy

Running has really benifitted my son

My Aspergers son, now a senior in high school has excelled at cross country and long distance running, not only becoming a valued member of the team, but this year named as co-captain to his cross country team and one of their best runners. This sport gave him a large and supportive social circle and taught him the benefit of sticking with something, even if you don't do well at first. (as a freshman, he started as the worst runner on the team). In track, he turned out to be a really good miler, nearly qualified for the states. He has colleges recruiting him, and what started off as an activity to try and find an outlet has turned into an important part of his life
—Guest June

graham

My daughter has HFA and is now 14 and has been playing cricket successfully at county girls level for 5 years,however its not been easy for her,or her team mates as well as the girls parents (in fact extremely challenging and not without a lot of ups and downs),but all in all its been brilliant for my daughter and a learning experience for those around her.
—Guest graham

Does anyone else have this battle?

Hello everyone. My wife Claire and I, have two autistic sons. Here in the UK, the general knowledge of autism generally is limited at best. We found especially however, the ignorance and stigma attached almost denied our eldest son, Lewis, his sporting chance. Lewis is a huge formula one fan, and through his limited vocabulary told us he wanted to race. We live in the south east of England only thirty miles from the centre of London. There are karting tracks, the first natural step in motor racing, well within reach of our home. Upon asking for Lewis to have a try out on his own, ALL of them denied him to even try because he was autistic and not deemed "safe". In February 2012, he was allowed a try out at a track not close to local to us. He has now met their minimum requirement to compete in their own cadet league. He has been crowned the current most improved driver on his merit and is currently sixth of twelve in competition. Moral to this story? Think of what they CAN do, not CAN'
—Guest Graham

KuRYDMyEKkjngQlzv

OH man! I had the same problem a few weeks back! We had a HUGE storm and no power for a week! I had all 5 kids every day beaucse school was closed and no TV No Video games no computers no cells bc we could not charge them (and I wouldnt let them in the car) and eating bread and peanut butter. By day 3 we played all the board games we had made crafts out of everything from tissue boxes to toilet paper rolls we had NOTHING left to do. Oh man it was horrible. We couldn't go to parks or anything beaucse all of them were either ruined or closed due to floods did not matter anyway beaucse 1/2 the roads were closed anyway it was a MESS I am not sure how I survived that week? But I do know the neighbors hated us bc all we did was yell lol Oh and we couldnt go outside for days till the tree people came and took down the huge 100 year old oak dangling over their heads.Thanks for coming over to Mommy2Nanny3Doggy1.com :)
—Guest vfxsXSbQKffPuo

Ringette is great for girls with autism

This sport is not as prolific as ice hockey, but is a non contact sport, was developed exclusively for female participants, has a gymnasium version, and the equipment can give a sense of deep pressure although other sensory issues can be a problem. The pants are long unlike the shorts in ice hockey - keep that in mind, this might bother some players because of how they feel when bending the knees. This sport does however put a strong emphasis on hand-eye co-ordination when it comes to pass receiving, so if your child has problems "sighting" the ring it will probably frustrate them - a hockey blade allows more room for error, a ringette stick and ring do not. Broomball is another one, but has more physical contact and is only organized for play on ice surfaces - the snow versions which provide more traction are pretty much non-existent now, which is a shame. They're a blast - should have been called Snowball...
—Guest Guest

My monkey loves baseball

My son is 4 years old and has Asperger's and SPD. He just started talking 9 months ago and has made major strides. He now has sentences. When he finally started talking he said he wants to play baseball, he already has great aim and a killer fastball. But I do worry about how others would react to him. He also starts horseback lessons. He now says he wants to try archery. Wish me luck, I can't keep up with him.
—Guest April

Just a thought..

Great suggestions, maybe I am pushing the whole baseball thing?
—Guest Kristie

Autism and soccer

Have you ever googled "autistic kids playing competitive sports"? There isn't much on this topic so it makes sense that team sports may not be there thing. Having said that, my 7 year old daughter played 2 years of house league soccer in a regular league. After yelling "pay attention" from the sidelines for over a year guess what happened? She started to pay attention and has now qualified for the rep team for our city. Never underestimate what your child is capable of, given enough time.
—Guest TK

sports for kids with autism

Our son has played many teams sports for special recreation and then with his typically developing peers. I feel this has helped him connect with other kids and learn new social skills. He will soon begin his freshman year of high school and has joined the football team, we will see how it goes. He has surpassed every expectation I have ever had and I am so proud to be his mom.
—Guest cindy

Autism and Scouts

While not technically a sport, scouts can provide your autistic child with a taste of a whole range of activities. The scouts are very familiar with special needs though not every group will be ideal for your child. If you're already in scouts and don't feel that your child is getting the attention they deserve, change groups. Some scout leaders are better with special needs kids than others. You might also want to look at the Autism and Scouting facebook page. You'll find testament from lots of other parents there. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Autism-and-Scouting/170750596311589
—Guest gbollard

sports for kids with autism

My son has discovered Archery after trying so many other sports. He participates as an individual but on a team. This sport has also improved his concentration, social skills and general public interactions. He has joined the local 4-H Archery club and we discovered 2 other members to have autism of different levels, but all are doing great. His club has 20 members in it and when they go to competitions he encounters up to 100+ kids. Before archery he would never have tolerated this large a crowd. He enjoys it so much that our whole family has taken up the sport and participate in other clubs together.
—Guest achance01

miracle league baseball

i have signed my 8 year old son up for this special needs kids baseball league. i will let you know how it goes. we are just in the "get acquainted" with baseball stage right now. he can hit the ball when pitched to him which is great! still a problem the team aspect but i want to have him try it out to see if he can get it. we tried karate years ago and he hated it. he has issues with different types of clothing so that may have been one problem.
—sammysmom47

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What Are the Best Sports for Kids with Autism?

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