My 8-year-old son is on the autism spectrum and my husband and I think getting him involved in sports this summer would benefit him. Given his diagnosis, do you think this is a wise idea?
Your question can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. As you know, an autism diagnosis is complicated and varied. How your son experiences and expresses autistic behaviors may be very different than another child with autism. The other question mark in this equation is which sport(s) will suit him. A sport like basketball, for example, has social and physical demands that a sport like swimming doesn’t have. The important to involve him the decision in finding the right sport for him.
The number one reason children play sports is to have fun. Doing your homework up front will help make your son’s experience more enjoyable. Once you find out which sports and/or activities interest him, there are a few things to keep in mind to help you narrow down the choices:
Your first choice may not work out, so, start the process with an open mind. And, for inspiration, have your son take a look at this list of top athletes on the autism spectrum, including runners, surfers, swimmers and snowboarders who reached the top of their game.
Check out the website VeryWellHealth.com has a comprehensive list of sports for kids with special needs.