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Types of autism spectrum disorders

Autism spectrum disorders can affect the communication process, social interactions, and present behavioral challenges. The symptoms can be recognized during the children’s early years, for that reason, parents must be very attentive to their behavior. However, several of these disorders appear for genetic causes, hence why doctors recommend that every kid should be genetically tested for any condition.

Since 2013, with the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth version), “autism spectrum disorders” is the terminology used to refer children with this diagnosis. The four previous denominations within the spectrum; autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder, are now all considered different manifestations of autism. Doctors use DSM-5 to unify their criteria and tests for a correct diagnosis of ASD, and thus have a better understatement of the various symptoms that present themselves in the children.

DSM-5 has three functional levels according to the support that children will need while growing up. These levels reflect how people within the spectrum can communicate, have social interactions, react to new situations, and manage daily life. But, even while the classification system is perfectly defined, it’s not always easy for doctors to fully evaluate a patient with symptoms of ASD and assign them to a specific level, especially because they can change levels while growing up and learning new skills.

Levels of ASD

The autism spectrum disorder can be so broad, that in it, there are individuals with severe intellectual and motor disabilities and others that have above average IQ; and while some people struggle with communication, others are public figures. That is the main reason behind the creation of the DSM-5’s three levels of ASD, which are:

Level 1

“Require support”: children and adults within this level have problems with communication and social interactions; usually people previously diagnosed with Asperger’s are here. This kind of people find it difficult to maintain conversations for long periods, and sometimes it’s hard for them to make friends. Routines are essential for them; even a small change can produce an adverse reaction. Therapy is a great way to help them develop social skills and control their anxiety.

Level 2

“Substantial support”: children and adults classified within this level of ASD have even more trouble with social interactions; some of them are non-verbal, don’t fully comprehend social cues, and their understanding of body language is practically non-existent. Casual observers can notice the difference between them and the neurotypical people. Both children and adults alike will need more specific types of therapy, such as sensory and occupational therapies, to engage in their surroundings.

Level 3

“Very substantial support”: children and adults placed in this level will require more attention by doctors and family because they have a severe lack of social skills and present repetitive and restrictive conducts that affect their lives and people around them. They really can’t tolerate any changes in their environments and have very few interests. Treatment can be challenging: therapy has to be more regular and cover a wide range of requirements, and they will also need a permanent caregiver to be in charge of them. Sometimes medication can help them to be calm and focused, but it must be administered at a doctor’s discretion.

This is a condition that can affect people in different ways, but that doesn’t mean they’re destined to have an unpleasant or dull life; on the contrary, most people within the spectrum try to enjoy their lives to the fullest while struggling with their daily challenges. These conditions don’t distinguish between races, gender, nationalities, and social status, anyone can be diagnosed with ASD.

Come to Autism Soccer, we offer excellent programs for the development of children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Types of autism with Autism Soccer

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Explore the Different Types of Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual disabilities are those neurologic disorders whose main characteristic is an IQ (intelligence quotient) below 70 when the standard is around 100. For these type of person, difficulties with daily activities are common, and behavior like self-care, social interactions, and communication can be a challenge. People diagnosed with one of these disabilities often have problems processing information and dealing with abstract concepts like money and time; for them living alone can be challenging if they’ve not been taught the proper strategies to handle these situations.

There are many causes of intellectual disability: many of them have it from a genetic condition, others because of problems during pregnancy or childbirth, health conditions while growing up, and even environmental factors. However, people with intellectual disabilities can live an independent life, because while they still have some challenges, they can learn to overcome them and live their lives to the fullest regardless of their condition.

Types of intellectual disabilities!

Fragile X syndrome (FXS)

One of many genetic disorders, it’s caused by a mutation in the X chromosome that affects the development, learning abilities, communication skills, and physical appearance. The level of severity may vary between individuals with this diagnosis.

It can be confused with autism because there are similar symptoms, such as hand flailing, poor social interactions and communication, and no eye contact. It is more common in boys than girls; the syndrome can appear in 1 in 3,600 boys, while with girls it is a 1 in 4,000-6,000 ratio.

Down syndrome

An extra copy of chromosome 21 in the DNA is the cause of the Down syndrome. This is the most common of the genetic disorders that cause intellectual disability. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 6,000 babies are born with this syndrome each year in the U.S.

People with Down syndrome can present a variety of characteristics: the intellectual disabilities can range from mild to moderate, and for these children, development is usually slower than for others. Among the characteristic physical features, we can find a slight upward slant of the eyes, a rounded face, and a short stature because of poor muscle tone. They can also present respiratory and heart conditions. With correct treatment and support, their lifespan can be increased up to 60 years.

Autism spectrum disorder

ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social skills, learning, and interaction abilities. It changes the structure and function of the brain; for that reason, children with ASD can present different characteristics, hence why autism is known as a spectrum disorder. But the most important aspect of autism is the struggle with social interactions.

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)

A genetic disorder that affects chromosome 15, and generates dangerous levels of obesity, because people with this condition suffer from an insatiable hunger; it also causes poor muscle tone and short stature. Children with Prader-Willi find school challenging, especially language and math. Some of the children can be born with distinct facial characteristics like almond-shaped eyes, a narrowing of the head, a thin upper-lip, light skin and hair, and a turned-down mouth.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)

FASD is a series of conditions that a child presents when the mother has a high-level ingest of alcohol while pregnant because the unborn baby feeds through the mother’s bloodstream. Among the symptoms, we can find distinctive facial features, heart and kidney problems, slow growth, learning disabilities, and memory problems. There is no consensus about what is the safest amount of alcohol a mother-to-be can drink while pregnant, for that reason doctors recommend no-alcohol during pregnancy.

These are some of the most common intellectual disabilities that affect many children around the world. Thanks to the advances in medical and treatments techniques, kids with these disorders can have happy and comfortable lives. Come to Autism Soccer and learn about all the programs that we offer to help in the development of children with intellectual disabilities.

Autism Soccer shows all the intellectual disabilities

Levels of cognitive deficit classify the different types of intellectual disability.

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How to Understand a Friend with Autism?

Making friends and sharing great memories with them are some of the highlights of growing up; but for children within the spectrum, this is a delicate subject because one of their main challenges is their difficulty engaging with traditional social skills. However, if both sides make efforts there can be an everlasting friendship and common understanding.

When a neurotypical child wants to make friends with one with ASD, as parents you should explain to them what are the differences between them, and what is the correct approach. These tips can help you prepare all the family to welcome their new friend!

Let’s make new friends!

Acceptance

The first step is to accept the differences between each child. Children with ASD face their own challenges, but they also have abilities that can surprise you! An excellent way to help them connect is finding a common activity or hobby that both kids can enjoy. Remember that while we have different abilities and personalities, those make us the people we are.

Learning

After the first few encounters, you can start to learn the kid’s routine and what he or she can enjoy at your home. For example, you can ask the child’s parents what kind of food he or she likes, and try alternatives to make their food time an enjoyable activity with your children. Both families can become close while the friendship between the kids is growing. It’s vital to learn the preferences of the members of that family, as it can be useful for the future. Who knows, maybe you can plan a trip together!

Understanding

Now that you know what the new friend likes, you have to understand that sometimes he would prefer to be alone or immersed in a game or activity. TV, an external conversation or game will require focus, and it might be hard to keep their attention if they’re focused on something else. But that doesn’t mean that they’re rude, it’s just how they focus on specific tasks.

Invitations

Try always to invite and include your new friend in the activities and gatherings that you host. Kids within the spectrum want to be part of said activities but don’t know how to ask, or don’t catch the rules of the game. Try to explain to them while playing and most important go to their pace.

Never be afraid

If you are worried about how to act in front of your new friend or don’t know how to approach a situation, just ask them directly. More often than not, they’ll be more than ready to explain the reasons behind their behavior or what is affecting them. Also, you should always speak the truth; when they ask a question about participating in a game, and you think that it couldn’t be good for them, discuss it and get a mutual solution.

Communication

Some children within the spectrum understand things better with a visual explanation, others with a verbal one. While with some kids their attention span is short, and for that reason, easy and quick explanations are the best. Find the perfect way to communicate with your new friend, and don’t be afraid to make strange gestures; they will appreciate the effort.

Patience and kindness

Kindness is the way to approach a kid with ASD, and once the friendship is set, you need to be patient. It’s important because sometimes they’ll need time to catch a question, situation or scenario. Remember with children within the spectrum, patience and time are critical in maintaining a good relationship.

Behavior

Always be alert in the changes that kids within the spectrum can show in determined situations. They tend to feel uncomfortable in large crowds, with some noises, smells and even lights, for that reason staying alert for sudden changes is basic to prevent a negative response that can even be dangerous for them. He or she will only need a break to calm down and feel better, just give them space and time.

Be a counselor

Commonly, when kids with ASD feel comfortable with their friends, they can ask for help in some situations, or if you see something strange discuss it with them privately, help them to navigate the tricky world of social interactions.

Stand up for them

If you are a good person, you won’t let your friend with ASD become a target for bullies. When you see someone making fun of them take a stand for your friend and yourself, you can feel great after defending them. But If you think that the situation is turning worse, talk to an adult and let them find a solution to the situation at hand.

A friendship with a kid or teen with ASD is not that difficult when you put your heart and a great effort in it. Take these tips and start to see the benefits of having a friend within the spectrum. Come to Autism Soccer to learn and observe our programs that facilitate children becoming friends!

Autism and friends with it

We’re all the same.

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Strategies to Develop Social Skills in an ASD Child

As parents, you always want the best for your children, including a good social life with incredible friends. But when your little one is diagnosed with ASD, normal situations like making friends can become a challenge. Some strategies can help kids to develop social skills that will help them.

These strategies focus on the basics of social interactions, especially for small children with ASD that cannot fully comprehend all the process of human interactions. Children will always keep it simple, and kids within the spectrum struggle with social situations, but they still see the world simple.

The strategies!

Be a role model

Children are always following your actions, but those within the spectrum won’t understand all the socials behavior that they are observing, for that reason it would be better to take some time and explain to them what is happening. For example, in a family reunion or when a friend is paying a visit, even when shopping groceries the interactions with the store’s personnel can be confusing for your little one. Remember to keep a good behavior because children are observing all, and the explanations are important for the ones with ASD since their comprehension is better with the verbal description.

Talk about possible scenarios

Don’t keep with the interactions that his or her surroundings can show to them, think in the future and what he or she is going to observe. Make a list and discuss it with them, or watch a movie with them and try to explain every question related to relationships and scenarios that are developing on screen.

Roleplay

Even with the observation and the verbal explanations, there will be some interactions with their peers that can make them feel uncomfortable, so it can be good to act them out. Engage all the family here and go through different situations that kids can face, every member has to explain what is happening and how to behave correctly. Role play allows them to practice conversations, body language and other points of communications between humans, in a controlled environment.

Find support

Other families are suffering the same challenges as you, for that reason find and discuss with them how they are helping their little ones with their social skills. Maybe you can arrange a playdate for them, and they can practice the different situations that you have been explaining to them. Later, you can talk to the other parents and how were the interactions, and compare the developing.

Kids with ASD have a tough time with social interactions but believe that they can make friends, that they will speak with the family, and get involved in some activities. And when they start to get a better communication with their peers, others aspects like self-esteem, regulating emotions and motivation will also improve. Come to Autism Soccer and find out programs that will help with your kid’s socials interactions plus other benefits.

Communication in ASD.

Your kid will need to develop social skills to make friends, communicating with others and understand social situations.

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Children’s Books about the Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with autism can learn the different aspects of their diagnosis with a single book. They can also feel related to the characters that appear in the story since there is nothing more appealing than an individual facing the same challenge as you. These kinds of books can be a helpful guide for every person that knows someone within the spectrum, and they can give small tips for daily interactions.

Because 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, it’s very common to meet someone within the spectrum (it could even be your new neighbor). So these books can give a better understatement of their struggles, and it doesn’t matter the age: preschoolers or teens can read these.

Let’s get the books!

All My Stripes by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer (Ages: 4-8)

Zane is the main character of the book, a zebra with autism that is worried because his differences can make him stand out. But his mother helps him learn that autism is just one of his many qualities that make him unique. The book also contents a foreword by Alison Singer, President of the Autism Science Foundation.

The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin (Ages: 6-13)

This is an activity book ideal for classrooms and other group settings. It is an educational tool and a great way to engage a conversation between students to learn how to embrace people’s differences and to treat them with kindness. The activities help them know how a child with autism can feel and how they can react.

Ethan’s Story; My Life with Autism by Ethan Rice (Ages: 6-9)

This is a special book because it was written by a kid with autism, something very surprising since he was only seven and his single thought was to help his classmates to understand him and what is like living with autism. Here Ethan explains his challenges and struggles using his way, and how he is always grateful.

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete (Ages: 7-10)

“Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It’s harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe.” This is one of the amazing lines that the book gives us. Holly is an actress and autism spokesperson whose son Charlie was diagnosed with ASD and, for that reason, this book was created along with her daughter. Ryan shows us what is like to be a big sibling for children with autism, and how proud she is that her brother knows all the American presidents and can play the piano.

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes by Jennifer Elder (Ages: 8-12)

An eight-year-old boy named Quinn is the main character here, and he takes us to meet his autism heroes: inspirational people that excelled in different fields like math, science, physics, literature, and even philosophy. These heroes are well known historical figures, and it has been rumored for years that they could be within the spectrum because of their behavior. Different Like Me is fully illustrated and can be a great educational tool.

These books can show you that your child is not alone: there are many people with the same challenges and struggles as your family, and also important historical figures lived with ASD. Reading to your child can be a great activity and a way to form bonds, so start the reading time at home! Come to Autism Soccer and check our different programs for your children.

Reading and ASD.


Reading is a fantastic gift for kids, but for children with autism, it can mean a new understanding of their condition.
Screen reader support enabled.

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Fun Indoor Activities for Children with Autism

Some days, whether by weather or simply to sleep in, families want to stay home. But when you are raising a son or daughter with ASD, these days can be a little challenging for you and for them as well. If you want to entertain them without using any tech device, these activities can be a good starting point. Because as most children, your neurotypical child will enjoy the kind of activity that can activate their senses. Besides, these are a great outlet for them and can function as therapy as well.

Check the activities!

Craft day

You can dedicate an indoor day to only play with craft, there would be some people that will feel uncomfortable with the texture, but some of them can be very addictive.

  • Cornstarch science: this is the easier to make, just mix a cup of cornstarch and water until you get a dough, that can become in a soft dough that can adapt to every form that your kid want. If you add food coloring that would increase the child attention.
  • Sensory bottles: find a water bottle, it can be any, but a large will work perfectly, fill three parts of it with warm water and then add an entire bottle of clear glue, that way everything that you put inside the bottle will float instead of sink. The glue will also give a viscous texture, that can be more attractive for the child if you add glitter or food coloring, superglue the top and ready for fun games.

Indoor Olympics

This is a great activity if your child loves sports or practices one. Create different stations around the house (you can decide how many); each one will represent an Olympic event. For discus throw, find a discus and a basket (can be the one used for laundry) and make your child throw it. For each section, you can make a DIY set of medals, and even roleplay the medals ceremony. All the family can participate and have a great time together.

Board games

These games can be tricky because kids tend to be competitive when playing and this kind of games can last a good amount of time; they probably will get bored. The best option is to set your own rules! All the family can gather before the start, and discuss the new rules; there won’t be limits with them, even the loser can be the winner. The goal of this activity is to have fun and enjoy the family time.

Charades

When kids are at home, it is normal to turn on the TV, but sometimes you as parents will feel that this passive activity is wrong. So, after the child’s favorite show finishes, make a game about it. Write down different scenes of the episodes and gather them in a bowl, your son or daughter will pick one, and with the family or only you and their stuffed animals, see them act the scene out for you to guess it.

Hide and seek

Hide their favorite things or toys around the house, try not to hide them too easily, then give them clues for him or her to search for the treasures. The rewards can be simple, like cookies or his favorite dessert, but the important part is to improve their observation skills and how to follow commands.

As you can see, there are many activities that you can make when you want to spend time at home, and these can help you to develop several skills and create strong bonds in the family. Here at Autism Soccer, we just want the best for children. Visit us and check all the programs that we offer.

Fun activities for ASD kids.

Thanks to these fun and recreational activities, kids will find happiness at home.

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Travel with ASD Children: Planification Tips

Traveling with the family is always stressful, but when you have kids with ASD, it can reach a new level of stress. However, with the correct organization, all the family members can have the best trip ever! Helping children with autism to adjust to the new environment and places can make a huge difference in their trips, and all the members have to make an effort while traveling.

Many parents with children within the spectrum can feel scared of venture beyond their cities, towns, and neighborhoods, because of the difficulty in managing the tough behaviors that the little ones can show in public, they also struggle with the shame of the stares, meaning comments and judges by people outside. But truly, traveling with them is not that complicated and can become an amazing experience.

Take these tips!

 

The best destination

When picking the place to go in the family vacation, it would be important to take into consideration what your child likes and how the new place can impact his or her behavior. According to Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, a trip to the beach or to the mountains are the best choices to go with children within the spectrum.

Those places can offer flexible schedules and adjusting activities, and they are very vast to accommodate different groups of people, without making the trip stressful for the child and the rest of the family. Children with autism tend to react in unexpected ways to new stimulations, for that reason these relaxed destinations can work better for them, besides try to find the activities that your son or daughter will enjoy; for example, games in the water, whatever in the beach or a lake, can make them feel very relaxed and open to other activities with the family.

Prepare arrangements ahead of time

After setting the destination, the next step will be calling airlines, hotels, and restaurants. With the calling, you will know what kind of procedure they follow when children with special needs are visiting, and with that, you can make all the correct preparations to visit those places.

There have been many rehearsal programs in airports and parks to teach the personnel how to treat and behave with children within the spectrum since many families are now taking the challenge of traveling with them. These practices are making easier for all the people involved to act according to the different situations that can present with those incredible children.

Identification

Safety first, and proper identification for your kid can make the difference with danger. Children with ASD tend to wander by themselves, separating of the group and losing while the family is a little distracted, and it can be worse if the child is nonverbal. You can find a necklace or a medical bracelet with the contact information, if someone finds him or her wander or in the middle of a crisis, they can call you right away.

Some children will feel uncomfortable with jewelry, if that is the case, find tags that can be attached to shoelaces or backpacks, also it would be good to make him wear shirts or a ribbon that can be identified as a child with autism. They can attract attention quite easily for that reason, workers and other visitants can contact you when they are lost.

Pack loveys and distractions

When packing try to check the daily routine of your child, that way you will know exactly what item bring, that can help you to calm down. Tablets, cell phones, DVD players, music, books, and stuffed toys can make them feel like if they were at home. If you forget them, you will face a hard challenge and the trip can be easily forgotten.

Role play scenarios

All the family can try to practice different scenarios that can show up in their trip, this will give your child a starting base to feel at ease in the vacation. Another way can be word/picture scenarios, showing the kid the different places that you will be visiting as a family, can help them to get used to them, and making them familiar. Try not to tell the child about the trip too ahead of time, because it can disrupt his behavior and affect his sleeping time, thanks to the anxiety.

Plan activities according to the child

You know your child better than everybody, for that reason the activities should be set according to their hours, “what time do they get tired and need a rest during the day? How many hours should we spend in the amusement park?” Those are the questions that you need to answer before the trip, planning activities for relaxation can be helpful like swimming, that way they can go to bed without any stress for the day. Try to keep the bedtime hours, never skipped them.

With these tips, your vacation can be a successful trip, just adjust them for your child necessities, because his or her happiness with the rest of the family has to be important. The family trips are there for you to have more time and to enjoy activities together. Here at Autism Soccer, we just want the best for your child and the rest of your loved ones; visit us and check all the programs that we offer.

vacation and autism

Make plans ahead of time, and keep everything in order so you can make that dream vacation come true

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Siblings of Children with ASD: What Are Their Challenges and Benefits

Siblings of a child with ASD can result in tough experiences, but at the same time can give them enriching life, they can grow up as a compassionate, independent and more tolerant person. Those kids will be able to understand better difficult situations, and they can be exactly what a person autism needs to develop their abilities and skills.

Explaining ASD to the siblings

The most important part of a good cohabitation between them will be explications. As parents, take time to talk with your typically developing children and make them try to understand what are the limitations of their sibling, how they can interact and play with them, and that ASD in their sibling isn’t their fault.

Remember that the explication will depend on the age of your typically developing children, a five-year-old can think that the ASD is the reason behind why a sibling can play as he or she do, but a 16-year-old can comprehend that a sibling with ASD will face many challenges and his or her role will be to support and be there.

Bad feelings

Typically developing children can be understanding and treat their siblings as the most precious thing that will appear in their lives, but bad feelings are normal between all siblings.

  • Jealousy: your children can start to feel jealous of the amount of time that you dedicate to your autistic child, so try to create family activities that include all the members, and also time alone with your typically children, because they need you and sharing time with them is precious.

  • Playing time: kids into the spectrum will need different games to play, but even when they are paying the same and regular game, sometime they will feel discouraged because a brother or sister doesn’t play the way they want. It would be good if you can find a sport or activity that can make them play together without worries.

  • Angry: they can show angry when they see that their autistic sibling get out with house chores and other responsibilities at home; also they can feel angry when someone is bullying their siblings or making fun of them in a family trip. You must teach them that it is a bad way to face these situations.

  • Protection: for typically children it would be normal to overprotect their brother or sister with ASD, it doesn’t matter what are their feelings towards them, they are their siblings, they are their family, protection and loyalty will be important. But sometimes can be a little too much, talk with them and explain how they can help them without suffocating them.

  • Stress: children with autistic siblings can feel pressure and stress, because of their routines, school and family interactions. They can even feel your own stress levels and think that you can finish with a divorce or are fighting constantly, so try to assure your kids that it is tough but everything is fine, and love is important in the family.

Making time for them

Try to spend all the time that you can with them, they will try to help in everything that they can, and that deserve a reward, because knowing what you as parents and their siblings with ASD are facing, they will try to put aside their own problems and concerns.

  • Create, in the family schedule, little times during the day to spend with them, maybe at lunchtime speak with them or make them help you with the preparation, read to them at bedtime or set one hour dedicated to homework, that way you assured to share time with them.

  • Always listen to what they want to talk with you; maybe it is a small thing to tell, but for them, it can be a huge thing and they will feel that for you they are important too.

  • Try to coordinate the same activity for both of your children. Like a picnic in the park, a trip to the beach, a visit to the museum or aquarium, or a simple a sport that both can enjoy. You will create a major bond between and with them.

  • Make an activity with he or her at least once a month; it can be just one parent and the child or both parents and the child. For that, you will need the help of your family or friends, but it can be very simple to achieve. Forming a bond with the child is important.

At the end it doesn’t matter the amount of time that you spend with your child; the important thing will be to make them feel care and appreciated, that way they can have a better understanding of the situation that you as parents are dealing with, and all the challenges that their sibling is facing. Come to Autism Soccer to learn more about our programs where your children can feel cherish and happy!

love and siblings

Make your children love each other no matter what.

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Five Individual Sports for Kids With ASD

Autism can present a series of challenges, but sports can be the way to face it in better condition. However, team sports can be the wrong option for kids that have a hard struggle with social communications and interactions. These five individuals sports can present a lighter way to help them with communication skills because they possess team components but with fewer interactions.

Top five individual sports for kids with autism

Biking

This activity has many benefits. Physically, they can develop legs muscle organization, increase their endurance, can thrive their coordination and balance. As they continuing to practice it, it can prevent future cardiovascular problems and obesity and their associated health complications.

It can help kids with autism in other aspects. Mentally, they will focus all their attention to stay upright and improve their determination to end the task will increase their wills. Emotionally, learn how to ride a bike and keep getting better at it will give them a sense of independence and triumph, and also can push them to learn new things and success in their lives.

Track and field

This sport is particular because it is a team sport, but it can be done by one person at a time; for that reason communication between teammates is reduce to a minimum, and when a child with autism doesn’t feel comfortable with tons of small talk, this option is great. Their social skills can improve with smaller steps, and without too much pressure. Besides, they can be with peers that like the same things like them.

For their health track and field can raise good cholesterol, maintain a good lung function, strengthens the heart and helps build muscles; and helps prevent diabetes and obesity. For kids, it can improve their coordination and muscle mass. The most important benefits for children with ASD are: decreasing self-stimulatory behaviors, hyperactivity, aggression, and destructiveness since they can release all the energy accumulated.

Swimming

This is the preferred sport for calming the anxiety of children with autism. Water soothes and calm them, allows them to feel better and more comfortable with their bodies. Many kids feel good with touching after a session in the pool. Also, in the pool, they can improve their social skills within small groups and a good relationship with their trainers.

Swimming can improve other things; you will be impressed by them. With swimming lessons, kids in the spectrum can learn new things outside the pool, because they will feel relaxed and cool after every session. It can help improve children’s attention span, concentration, impulse control, and ability to follow directions. The lesson will require a lot of energy that will reduce their hyperactivity, allow them to concentrate on other tasks. Thanks to learning how to breathe inside and outside the water, can help them with their ability to speak. Swimming is a great sport!

Horseback riding

Equine Therapy is a great help for ASD children. Riding a horse can improve their lives. Emotionally kids tend to create a bond with the selected horse, that way they can feel secure and comfortable around it and they can take that to the real world and practice their social skills.

With their health, it helps to improve their motor skills, keeping upright in the horse will require a good combination of muscle movements, every time that they are riding their muscles will become stronger, they also work with their balance and coordination. Mastering riding a horse and create a bond with it will improve the life of an autistic child, it will provide them with confidence and above all happiness.

Gymnastics

This option can sound hard, difficult, and stressful for ASD children; but on the contrary, it is a great sport for improving a lot of aspect with their health and social lives. Gymnastics can include a lot of skills, like cognition and motor skill development because this sport needs a lot of movements and physical efforts. It can help with the body: muscles, bones, articulations, and heart.

Social skills, self-esteem, and body confidence can improve thanks to gymnastics, because of the different exercises kids will understand completely how their body works. Also, just like the other sports, it is a team sport but the interactions with the teammates are minimal, however, it can help them with social situations and talking.

These five sports can improve the lives of children within the spectrum in many and different ways, just let them learn and find what they like, we know that at the beginning it won’t be easy but the results after a couple of months are worth it. Come to Autism Soccer and learn the variety of programs that we offer to the little ones, to put a smile on their faces.

sports and autism

Individual sports can be great, but let them have the final decision

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Advice for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Being a parent is difficult, being one of a child with special needs is twice as difficult. These recommendations will help you to face every day with your best effort. Because you are not alone, there are many parents like you that love their kids but know how difficult it is. Keep reading and try to practice these, that way you will be a great time while parenting your kid with special needs.

You are not alone

There are many parents, that as you are dealing and trying to live as best they can. Yes maybe your kid’s diagnosis isn’t like others, but these parents know the difficulties, the struggles, the fears and the hope that their son or daughter can be happy because your kids’ happiness will be the most important thing for you. Find a group of parents that will understand you and will tell you their experiences, for you to make notes.

Let others take care of you

You are constantly taking care of your child safety and health, but what about yours? You also will need time for yourselves, take a break, ask a relative or friends that know and fully understand the kid diagnosis and can help for a couple of hours, let them feed you, too. They can even help with the house chores, but let them help you, trying to to do everything by yourselves won’t let to health problems.

You aren’t perfect, but you’re your child’s superheroes

Yes, we are humans and as one we make mistakes, try not to punish yourselves for them, even the first timers of non ASD children make mistakes, so take a deep breath, and let it go! Because in front of your kid you are superheroes, you are the ones that make their dreams come true, that help them with everything, and you always are going to be there for them. You are doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers, and parents, so you are not regular.

Time for your kids

With busy schedules for your kid’s condition, you are not spending quality time with them, so it would be good to make time for simple but important things like reading for them, plan a picnic, play with them, whatever it makes them happy. Just be with them outside busy schedules and hospital appointments.

Making heart-wrenching decisions

Because of your child’s diagnosis, you will face a lot of tough choices, but the best way to make them it’s kept to one and never rethink it. Also, it will be good to speak about it with other parents, there won’t be anybody that will understand you better than them. We know that it won’t be easy but try it to do it this way, or make your own way, parenting is a long learning journey.

Forgive yourselves

In this long journey you will make mistakes, bad decisions and will face tough situations, but forgive yourselves everytime that you are wrong, everytime that you feel that you made a terrible mistake, and everytime that you think you can’t do it anymore. Forgive yourselves and always ask for help.

Don’t lose your identity

Being a parent of a kid with special needs doesn’t mean you have a new identity. Many things are going to change, but your true self should never change. Show your son or daughter who you are with everything that comes with you. Find things for you, like a hobby, or try to keep your old friends around, go out with them and speak of things outside parenting or family.

Celebrate the small achievements of your son or daughter

Be proud and show around what your child get to know or do. They may seem small in comparison to other kids, but for you and the kids, they are huge achievements. Remember: for some of them, learning and do simple things could extremely complicated, so praised and brag about a first word, a smile, a first step, be in a team, or simply read a single line.

Don’t make comparisons

Every human is different, so try never to compare them with others. Their diagnosis could be in the same spectrum but can have different levels, or they can suffer different conditions, so never try to do that. Your child is unique, and he or she will show their strengths when the time is right.

Marriage time

If you are in a relationship, or are married, and have a kid with special needs, you will need time as a couple, make that time happen period! Your marriage, just like your child, is important to never put them behind because of your kid schedule or medical appointments, just like before asking for help, and enjoy a fancy date with your partner.

Trust your parent’s instinct

Be a parent come with wonderful gifts like instinct, so use them every time that you feel that something is off. Doctors, teachers, specialists, and therapists know their fields and professions, but if you don’t like it follow those instincts; they are usually right and you would make a good call.

Parenting is hard work, but if your child has a special need, is twice as hard. So keep in mind these tips, and be the best parent as you can. Here at Autism Soccer can give you the best advice and programs for your kids, so don’t doubt and visit us!

parenting and special needs

Never be afraid to ask for help, and be sure to enjoy your kid as much as you can.

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15165 NW 77 Ave Suite 1005 Miami Lakes FL 33014

Autismsoccer.org

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