Our goal is to simplify the information gathering and evaluating process. Our approach is to provide multiple perspectives from leading authorities and varies websites on autism related topics. This will provide our readers the opportunity to gather multiple viewpoints from a single location and form the best-educated decisions for their family’s needs.
Disclaimer: The Autism Resource Foundation provides general information to the autism community. The information comes from a variety of sources, and the Autism Resource Foundation does not independently verify any of it, nor does it necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of the Autism Resource Foundation. Nothing on this website should be construed as medical advice. Always consult your doctor regarding the needs of your family.
Source: Autism United
As most children with autism have difficulty communicating with others, many parents feel that team sports are not the right sport for their child with autism to engage in. And while it is true that teaching an autistic child a team sport may be a bit challenging, it is certainly not impossible. You just need to know what the child’s limitations are and how you can work around it.
In general, it must be noted that when teaching children with autism how to play team sports, you must realize that they do not have the same communication skills as the typical child. As such, you should not expect the autistic child to immediately grasp what you are saying the first time you say it. There may be times when you will need to explain what you are teaching them several times. When you explain the rules of the sport and what you want them to do, always do so in simple words. Say it over and over until you are sure that he has understood what you said.
Instead of explaining everything at once, it is a good idea to break down the information into parts so that the child will not feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you are teaching him. Teaching him the team sport in a step by step process will not only give him the chance to process what you are teaching him but it will also help him retain the information.
As autistic children are very visual in nature, it is recommended that you use visual aids when teaching the child about the sport. You can create your own visuals or you can also use a picture book.
You also need to be aware that children with autism are usually unable to imitate others. As such, merely telling them to follow what the other children are doing is not enough. You cannot expect them to watch the game and immediately know what to do. Teaching through example, in this case, may not be the most effective teaching method. What will be more effective is to provide physical and visual help as you proceed with the game.
In addition, you also need to teach them how to understand certain non-verbal cues which are critical to the game. As autistic children usually have difficulty understanding body language, you need to teach them how to tell whether or not their team mate is about to pass them the ball or when their team mate is ready for the ball. This way, when they look at their team mate, they will be able to tell what their team mate is ready for.