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ASD and sports/activities - what do your DC's do?(14 Posts)
We are having a dilemma. DTs have been going to football practice for the last 5 weeks. DTS1 who has ASD is fine with the structured games/dribbling but not when they play 5 a-side (which is half the session). He just wanders off and is not involved at all. Its really painful to watch and quite frankly a waste of his/our time. There is a SN football club near us that we could try but I have been wondering what other sports/activities he could do.
He really loves music but all the dance classes seem to be aimed at NT kids. He will stick out like a sore thumb. I have been told about karate classes that DTS2 could do at his school (and we could take DTS1 as well) but I am worried about DTS1 disrupting the lessons because his brother is there. They are already in different classes for swimming lessons because they wind each other up.
There are SN judo lessons one day after school but I'm not sure we could do the logistics (I work 4 days a week)
Gymnastics seem to only want kids that excel, not those who just want to have fun.
He really needs exercise as he is hypermobile and has low tone.
What activities do your children do?
Not sure how old your DTS's are. My Ds did karate for a number of years from about age 9. The instructor was very good and it was structured. We suspected that there were a number of children on the Spectrum in the group even though it was not a SN group.
He also had swimming lessons - which were a struggle at first so we stopped for a while and restarted when we found smaller classes where the teacher was in the water initially, which worked well. Once he had outgrown the lessons we were lucky as there was a non-competitive swim club he could join, which suited him fine. (A group where youngsters who had already learn to swim well could have some extra coaching).
He had a taster session at a local climbing wall and enjoyed that, so goes most weeks to that.
Now that he is older he had taken up going to the gym and has recently got into road running.
He absolutely detests team sports of any kind - so you can see we focused on finding things where he was with a group of children but was working as an individual IYSWIM.
DS1 does fencing. His coaches are very patient with him, as he does struggle with any changes -e.g. he wanted to change weapon type but when they said yes he burst into tears and it took a couple of lessons before he would even pick it up. But when he gets going he really enjoys it- he does lots of competitions and although I can pretty much guarantee that the first time we go to a new competition place he will struggle (hide/roll on floor etc) the next time he will do ok.
They sometimes fence in teams i.e. person one gets up to fence opposition, then person two fences opposition, so are 'part of a team' without having to actually cooperate per se with your team members.
The mask means no eye contact...
Suits us well.
He does enjoy climbing walls too, but not done as part of a club.
DS did karate (tae kwondo) for five years and it is very good for the development of motor skills and balance whilst increasing fitness and stamina. The kata routines of punches/kicks are a solo display and so it is possible to avoid contact/sparring - not good with tactile hypersentivity! I thought he might have difficulty understanding but there is a lot of copying/mirroring and he was actually very good at remembering the routine provided that he did it in order from start to finish. Team sports and contact sports cause huge problems and are conterproductive!
My DS also went to a non-SN club but I know through their parents (discussions about statementing) that there were ASD children as well as those with other SNs that were members. One of the female black belt instructors had a child with SN and had particular experience.
They're 5.5 (Yr 1). DTS1 is quite good at copying, when he is looking (which is half the problem) so I think he would pick up the movements at a martial art. Structure is good too.
Hadn't thought of climbing - he's a little monkey!! He may be a bit young for climbing walls though - I thought they generally started a bit older?
Swimming lessons have been painful - we have tried all sorts of situations, larger classes, 1-1 (expensive!) and now back in a smaller class again with teachers in the water. He loves the water, which is part of the problem because he spends half the lesson under it when he shouldn't be. And he is always watching the bigger kids further up the pool and not listening/watching his teacher. I spend half the lesson with my head in my hands and look like the awful parent with a child who is constantly naughty. If he doesn't progress this term I think we will end up going back to private 1-1 lessons again.
Have you considered horse riding? I teach RDA and many of my riders have AS / ASD; it seems to be well suited to lots of them as is fairly non-competitive and easy for riders to remain focused, and it is really excellent from a physio perspective at increasing muscle tone.
DS started at the same age. The karate school also did things like encouraging DC to learn their address and phone number and other important safety stuff. Karate clubs are really popular with younger children having the space and equipment for the kids to have fun - including sumo suits and mini-gladiator equipment - and seem to be the male child equivalent to ballet lessons around here.
You could also try trampolining. DS is about to start at a place that caters for SN as well as NT. They have harnesses to learn front and back flips and tricks.
I think so much depends on what is around locally.
DS has AS (and hypermobility/low muscle tone too) and has just started after school footie at school - big breakthrough! He used to be such a skinny little fella but he eats all the time and certainly needs exercise.
Our physio has been really helpful and has just referred us for swimming and a local Council run group which is a sports club for children with disabilities. DS just watched last week but seems to be keen on joining in.
He has his name for RDA too.
He used to like trampolining too.
Louey :Re Climbing
Have just had a look at our local climbing wall and they run pre-school classes for age 3-5 as well as a group for age 5 - 8. So if you live near a climbing wall it might be worth seeing what they have on offer. (They have a specially designated wall for smaller children where the foot/hand holds are closer together.) If you live near a climbing wall would say it was worth enquiring about what they have on offer.
Thanks so much for all the ideas. DTS1 would love trampolining, we have one in our garden will investigate whether are any special needs sessions near us.
KeeponKeepingOn we're in West London I don't suppose the SN sessions are anywhere near there are they? Will have a look for climbing walls near us as well. I did tell DH about those suggestions last night and he went pale!
Those of you who have done martial arts did you find that the club were generally welcoming towards children with ASD/SN? I can obviously contact them and explain the situation, but I just wondered if they will happily take him on.
stillwaiting - I have considered horse riding as I know we have an RDA near to us. But from recollection, it was so expensive for a short session and we would probably have to pay for both DTs as it is difficult to let one do it but not the other.
Swimming last night was another disaster, but he seems to be in a manic mode at the moment so I wasn't expecting him to be particularly great. The frustrating thing is that if he concentrates, he can nearly swim. He just doesn't for long enough. Argh.
Hi Louey - I know of a localish SN's gymnastics club - if you would like more info PM me.
Ooh yes please - am on phone but will pm you later.
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