Children on the Autism spectrum often struggle with social skills, body awareness, coordination, concentration and sensory issues. For those children, gymnastics can be a great outlet to help improve many of these things. If you're looking for an activity for your child to help overcome some of the challenges of a spectrum disorder, you may want to consider gymnastics lessons. Here's a look at a few of the ways that gymnastics can help.
Focus and Concentration
Completing gymnastics routines and specific actions on gymnastics equipment will require a certain degree of focus. The more time your child spends working on gymnastics routines, the stronger those concentration and focus skills will become. In many situations, this will translate into an ability to focus more clearly in other areas as well. For example, kids who learn how to channel their energy and concentrate on gymnastics equipment may be able to use the same technique to focus on a classroom assignment that would otherwise be dismissed in favor of the distraction of sensory triggers.
As your child learns how to use gymnastic equipment, he or she will also be learning about the boundaries of the body. For kids on the spectrum, understanding their physical place in the world and how their bodies move can be difficult. Gymnastics routines require kids to focus on every movement and be deliberate about every step and every hand placement. This can strengthen spatial awareness skills and physical boundary understanding.
As much as gymnastics is about individual growth and achievement, it's also about teamwork. When kids on the spectrum are in a position where they can learn at their own speed and still contribute to a team environment, it can help with social development. In addition, the team support environment will help your child to learn practical social skills in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
Many children on the spectrum are sensory seekers, which means that they look for certain types of sensory input as a way to soothe themselves. For some of those kids, gymnastics provides a total-body sensory experience because of the muscle movements, the physical activity, the sound and the feeling of the equipment. When sensory seekers are provided with an environment that soothes those sensory needs, it can help to create a more harmonious home by easing your child's stress.
As you can see, there are many reasons to consider gymnastics for kids on the spectrum. If you're looking for an environment that will be safe and supportive, check out your local gymnastics facility today.