Martial Arts For: Kids with Autism
Martial arts in current American history can sometimes carry a heavy misconception. Every school will teach and train differently, which only adds to the confusion and misunderstandings.
Martial arts was developed as a martial – or war – art. It was invented and designed to be used in times of war. Even still today, martial arts is commonly sought after for its ability to teach people how to defend themselves. And while that happens to be the core idea, there are many other accompanying benefits that compliment that core objective including but not limited to increased focus, weight loss, and boosted self-confidence.
These benefits have led to a world of innovation and unique training programs within the world of martial arts training. It’s no longer just a militia tactic, but rather a developmental aid for children and adults.
Licensing with SKILLZ Worldwide, we offer age-specific training programs and highly specific class structures. Each class has its own class curriculum to focus on short-term goals while also contributing to long-term success. You wouldn’t be happy if your child’s teacher at school didn’t have a lesson plan, would you?
Yeah, us either.
Our newest program is called Spectrum Skillz and is a class designed specifically for children seven and older on the Spectrum for Autism. For each of our programs, there are 8 key aspects we focus on. For Spectrum Skillz, these aspects are awareness, detailing, observing, listening, communication, retention, durability, and determination.
Children with autism often have difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and limited physical capabilities. The eight key aspects that we focus on in their training help to supplement and challenge those limitations so that children can improve their capabilities and train in an environment that is both conducive and safe for each student.
There have been numerous studies to support the notion that exercise is helpful for kids with autism.
Because of the developmental struggles faced by children with autism, martial arts and all of it’s fundamentals serve as a perfect additive to aid in their advancement.
Martial arts provides a structured atmosphere to promote focus and listening skills while developing motor skills and muscular tone among students.
A big part of our program works with game-based learning. This is important because it’s a very “Mr. Miyagi” approach of teaching students and keeps them engaged and excited about their training! Kids can accomplish so much, but they have to want it. Game-based learning helps to combat the feeling of boredom and increase the rate of success.
We have a list of specific drills we use to teach and develop each of those eight key objectives we work on throughout training.
For example, kids with autism more often than not strive when given visual examples opposed to verbal commands. In order to develop their listening skills, we play a game called Hamburgers&Hotdogs. In this drill, the instructor will assign the right hand as the “hamburger” and their left hand as the “hotdog”. Instructors will then hold a target for the student to punch and call out “hamburger” or “hotdog” to indicate which hand the student should punch with.
This is just one example of a fun drill to keep students engaged while also offering a structured skill-building drill. The student isn’t actively aware that the game is developing their listening skills, but they’re engaged and enthused to play! Two birds, one stone.
As part of the structured nature of what we do, children will also experience an increase in social skills. Though students advance independently at their own rate, there are several partner drills that will encourage and promote interaction among students. And as with every class, it’s always promoted to cheer on fellow students in their training!
To conclusion, we believe in what we do and want you to witness it for yourself. Martial arts is a perfect opportunity for your kid to partake in skill-building activities that will develop muscular strength, teach listening and communication skills, and provide a safe and productive space to learn and grow at their own speed. Each and every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, and we’ll be here for every step of the way.
Thanks for reading my blog! If you liked this blog and want more information on our programs, visit capemartialarts.com! As per some complications, our Spectrum Skillz program is not yet listed (coming soon!), but you can email [email protected] with any additional questions you may have!
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As always, if you enjoyed this blog and want to read more, email me at [email protected]. I appreciate all your love and support.
Over and out,