Teaching children on the autism spectrum how to play football and improving their motor skills is a huge passion of ours and one of the most satisfying experiences we are privileged to have as coaches.
Having three kids of his own with ASD, our Head Coach Lee is acutely aware of the daily struggles autistic children have trying to do the things that a lot of us find reletively simple and he loves the challenge of adapting his coaching methods to find new ways of helping them because every single one has a completely different personality and way of learning.
What a lot of people don't comprehend is that these amazing children can often figure out how to do things much quicker than others and their attention to detail and need for routine make them the perfect candidates for 1-2-1 coaching with someone who properly understands their condition whether that be in person or through distance coaching.
Below are a couple of case studies of high-functioning autistic children Lee recently worked with that highlight how, with a bit of commitment, anyone regardless of their ability level can quickly develop new motor skills that will help them not only to play football, but also in day to day life.
Amber had been diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism and struggled with her balance along with having major anxiety issues and a general lack of confidence and self-belief.
She was also a complete beginner so we decided that, before introducing a football, and to help her going forward, we'd start her off on an agility ladder so that she could improve so motor skills and also get her brain and her feet in sync.
The video below was taken after a 2 minute explaination of the technique and a couple of practices on day 1, and then again on day 5.
We literally only spent 10 minutes each day working on the ladder and the results were amazing.
They highlight just how quickly, with the proper instruction, autistic children can learn the basic fundamental skills of balance and coordination...
Summer, like so many others, came to me after a bad experience at a previous soccer club.
Following a consultation with her dad, I discovered that the coaches she'd worked with previously, despite stating that they'd coached kids with autism in the past, didn't seem to have enough patience or knowledge of the condition to be able to properly help her develop and, because of this she struggled to keep up and her behaviour deteriorated during the sessions as she lost interest and withdrew from the group.
This ultimately led to her being asked to leave the club and that knocked her confidence massively.
It was essential that we got her back on track quickly and, along with the dedication and commitment of her dad, we were able to get her smiling and loving learning new skills in no time at all.
I've now worked with Summer for a few months and she's progressed at an astounding rate.
Every time I see her she's mastered the tricks and skills we worked on in the previous session and she is always keen to show them off.
She's also joined a new team and just reached a cup final in her first season!
It's another example of the incredible learning capabilities of a child on the autism spectrum!
If you would be interested in discussing some 1-2-1 coaching for your son or daughter please complete the form below...