A review in the journal AUTISM the activities that had the biggest beneficial impact for kids on the autism spectrum are adaptive horseback riding and martial arts. At Karate 4 Excellence we always have several students at any given time that are on the spectrum. The improvement in behavior and attitude can be very dramatic.
According to Active for Life, “the inherent structure and repetition in martial arts can help reduce anxiety in kids as they focus on individual goals and develop movement skills such as balance, flexibility, and hand-eye coordination. As kids practice choreographed moves and interact with other people in a fun and safe environment, they also improve communication skills, concentration, spatial awareness, and self-control.”
At Karate 4 Excellence the structure and discipline helps everyone learn to cope with their environment and overcome challenges. This is especially important for the kids with ASD.We have found that our martial arts program can improve impulse and emotion control. They learn to better interact with others.
Kids with ASD also are more likely to be affected by bullying. Karate allows them to handle those situations much more effectively.
About Gerald Dunn: Gerald is a seventh-degree black belt and senior master instructor with over 40 years ef experience. He began training in taekwondo in 1980 and began teaching in 1982. He opened his academy in Poughkeepsie in 1991