I work at a karate school with my mom. We have a few kids with autism in some of our classes. How can we meet the needs of our kids with autism?
Karate is a great activity for kids with autism. It helps their coordination, strength, and body awareness — just as it does for everyone! So it's great that you want to help students with autism enjoy your class.
Most kids with autism like having a routine. Routines (doing things in the same way, at the same time, and in the same order) help them know what to expect. If it's possible, you might want to post a list of techniques and stances that your students with autism can follow along with. And, if you're teaching younger kids, it might help to use a picture to help show the students what to do. It might help other students too!
Kids with autism can get overwhelmed with too much language, noise, or visual stimulation. So keep directions brief and clear, and the rest of the room quiet with not too many pictures or decorations on the walls. Some children with autism are very sensitive, and things like noise and touch make them act defensively. It can help you, as a karate instructor, to know this.
Autism affects people differently. So you might have kids in your class whose autism shows up in different ways. Getting to know the kids individually will help you find out what works best for them. You can also ask the kids' parents for tips on helping them get the most out of your class.
Reviewed by: Wendy Harron, BS, OTR/L
Date reviewed: March 2014
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Autism Speaks Autism Speaks is committed to facilitating research that will uncover the causes of autism, develop effective biomedical treatments, and hasten the discovery of a cure.|
|Autism Society of America (ASA) The mission of ASA is to promote lifelong access and opportunities for persons within the autism spectrum and their families.|
|How Can I Help a Classmate With Autism? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Babysitting: Caring for Kids With Special Needs What's the best way to feel confident about caring for a kid with special needs? Know what to expect! Here are tips on looking babysitting kids with autism, Down syndrome, and ADHD.|
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|What Should I Know About Babysitting a Child With Autism? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Autism Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the brain and can make communicating and interacting with other people difficult. Find out more.|
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