Basketball therapy for children with autism
How autism affects children
Falling on a broad spectrum, Autism is a developmental disorder with many forms and a wide variation of symptoms. Autism can affect many areas of a child’s life, including social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication skills, behaviors and interests. With some forms of autism, children engage in repetitive, obsessive behavior and experience increased social isolation. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 68 children has been identified with some form of autism.
Researchers are still struggling to determine the causes of autism, and there is no cure. However, there are activities that can help improve an autistic child’s development and lessen the severity of the autistic symptoms.
Sport therapy for children with autism
For children with autism, sport-related activities, like basketball, may help lessen the negative effects of autism. Studies show that regular aerobic exercise can decrease negative, self-stimulating behaviors like rocking, spinning or self-injurious behaviors like head-banging. It can also temporarily increase attention span.
The highly structured routines that sports create are believed to be similar to an autistic child’s self-stimulating, repetitive behaviors. Sport can offer a temporary, positive alternative for the child to engage in.
Sports also offers social benefits. For the autistic child, participation in organized sports offers opportunities to read social cues, coordinate and connect with others, and to develop relationships with peers.
Children with autism will need more support in order to succeed in organized sports, but the results can be significant.
Autism and basketball
For parents of autistic children, investing in an adjustable in-ground basketball hoop can be a great way to spend quality time bonding with your child while combating the symptoms of autism. Adjustable basketball goals mean that the backboard can be raised and lowered to a height that is best for your child.
Players of all ability levels can engage in activities that teach the fundamentals of basketball. Activities and drills target emotional regulation, communication, following game rules and team work. Even a simple game like HORSE offers plenty of benefits. This traditional game teaches lessons like listening, following directions and waiting for your turn. Basketball also helps children work on coordination, core strength, balance and endurance.
For more information about adjustable in-ground basketball goals, visit your local Rainbow Play Systems of Texas showroom today.