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Thread: "Ausome" Sports Program

  1. #1

    Default "Ausome" Sports Program

    I thought this was an interesting and inspiring story.

    A local couple has started an initiative to provide sports programs to kids living with autism. The couple claims that sports have helped their 10 year old son who was diagnosed with autism three years ago. They say their son has learned teamwork, socialization skills and leadership through sports. They state that kids with autism are often left out of playing team sports because the games are not designed for autistic children. For example, a gym full of loud noise can be stressful for kids with autism.

    The parents currently have a facility booked for a basketball program in January, and they are looking to start with one program per month and eventually expand to six to 10 weeks-long programs by next fall.

    According to stats from the US Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 68 children fall on the autism spectrum with each individual possessing unique, distinctive abilities. Unfortunately those abilities aren't always recognized or given a chance to develop in a general school setting.

    I always felt isolated and different in school for reasons other than autism, and team sports just reinforced those feelings of inferiority. It's sad because sports played a very crucial role later in my life in coping with depression and loneliness, so for me, it's heartening to see programs that help kids go from being isolated to being included. Just a little vision is all it takes.

  2. #2


    It's an interesting idea, and I wish them every success. Though TBH, the idea of "sports for kids who aren't very good at it" or who have behavioural issues could do with being expanded upon regardless. Schools spend far too much time focusing their attention on the minority of kids who are really good, which to my mind, miss the whole point of school sports, which is to force kids to get some exercise, with the secondary purpose of trying to instil a love of energetic activity that will keep them exercising. Treating the “school team” as though it were the end-all and be-all of sports does nothing but discourage those kids who will never be good enough to be part of it. Teachers who spend all their time heavily coaching a minority of pupils in order to beat a heavily coached minority from another school are missing the whole point of sport.

    The big issue here is going to be the level of autism. As Starrunner says, autistic children often don't cope well with loud noise - but they are perfectly capable of generating it, so you have to face the prospect of a group of severely autistic children continuously setting one another off. There is no guarantee that autistic children will get along with one another, just because they are all autistic. The fact that the kid in question wasn't diagnosed until the age of seven tends to suggest that he can't be that autistic, otherwise it would have been picked up earlier, given how prevalent autism is within the public consciousness. In fact, you will note that they say that their son has an "autism spectrum disorder" - they don't actually say that he's autistic. Setting up a sports programme for kids with Asperger Syndrome is a very different kettle of fish than setting one up for kids who are severely autistic.

  3. #3


    I expect you would find a lot of endurance athletes at the milder end of the spectrum. Big events are a problem for crowds and noise, but 95% of the time involved is spent training alone, and not all races are huge. For me, a controlled internal rage to escape the pack works pretty well to keep my pace up.

    When I was young, team sports were out for another reason. I didn't discover until I took the eye test for a drivers license that I was horribly nearsighted. Not very conducive to excellence at ball sports. All those years, I just thought I sucked.

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