Special Learning Logo Light

Sports – Good for all kids! And Adults!

7 blog avatar 1 Sports - Good for all kids! And Adults!
Expert Name:  Cindy Ring, MSW, LSW
Expert Title: MSW, LSW
Company Name:  Step By Step Inc.
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Cindy is a clinical administrative associate with Step By Step Inc.

Her responsibilities include designing research studies, protocols and evaluation tools, data collection and analysis and writing and editing grants and reports. Cindy is a member of the National Psychology Honor Society and a licensed social worker. She holds an MSW in Social Work Administration from Ohio State University, a BS in Psychology from Wright State University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Forensic Psychology from Walden University.

Sports – Good for all kids! And Adults!
Now that we are well into summer, what better time to start thinking about getting involved in sports and outdoor fun!  For kids/teens with autism, this is no different!  It’s important to mention some positives that make searching for a good sports program, team or individual sport for your child or teen well worth the effort:
• Gross motor skills!!- Let’s face it, we can all improve our gross motor skills.  Who doesn’t wish he or she were a better dancer on the weekends?!  For kids and teens with autism, honing those gross motor skills is crucial while they are still growing and creating muscle memories about how to perform various tasks.  If your child or teen is in an OT program, sports involvement can be a great practice arena for those skills in real time! During the years when we are growing is when we do the most physical learning, so involvement in physical activities during this time can develop skills that may last forever.
• Social skills- Particularly with team sports or sports programs, children and teens will learn valuable social skills like turn taking, waiting, being part of a group working toward a common goal, cheering teammates on, reinforcing each other, and looking to peers for cues and reinforcement, rather than adults.  Even if team sports are not your child or teen’s thing, individual sports like swimming will often get him or her around peers by default and he or she can practice these valuable skills.
• Sense of accomplishment- Sports are very self-motivating activities with many rewards along the way.  Each time your child or teen learns a new skill or accomplishes something, he or she is being empowered to believe he or she can do more and more!  Isn’t it nice to actually focus on what your child can do and not what he or she can’t do?
• Learning to win and lose gracefully- I think everyone can stand to learn this lesson.  Understanding that each sports event or practice is another chance to do better and to win is a great lesson for kids.  On the same idea- just because he or she lost once does not mean that there is not another chance down the road.  It’s good for kids to not get caught in a rut and understand that they have choices and chances every day.
• Good feelings and health- Sports and exercising are great ways to feel good. They are natural antidepressants and you don’t even have to get a prescription!  As you exercise, your brain releases endorphins that give you a upbeat feeling for a while and this is all done automatically by your body!  What could be better than that?  And it’s free! Also, we all know the health benefits of staying fit and active- why not get your child or teen on the path to good health and fun this summer?  He or she may develop a lifelong hobby, recreational activity, or even choose to compete at a higher level.
By the way- if you are caring for or are an adult, these same benefits apply!

Getting Dressed Girl Visual Schedule

ABCs of Sensory Processing Disorder: Where Do I Start?


Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
Special Learning’s Free Hotline

This is an independent SL Hotline that is part of our VCAT service. This hotline has no connection with any other association or membership group.

Got a question you want a BCBA or other ABA expert to answer?
Fill in this form and one of our professionals will handle your question quickly and confidently. You can expect a response in 24-hours or less.