Recently, I read an article about the top 5 sports for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
According to the article (found here), kids with ASD have:
- Difficulty in social situations
- Sensory sensitivities, such as noise, light, clothing or food
- Communication difficulties, such as problems developing speech or understanding social language, difficulties with eye contact or use of gestures
Because of these difficulties, it is difficult for kids with ASD to participate in team activities.
According to the University of Utah Healthcare the….
Top 5 sports for kids with ASD:
- Track and Field
- Horse-Back Riding
Another great sport for kids with ASD:
Studies have shown that children with ASD who participate in exercise were less aggressive and had decreased repetitive behaviors. They also had improved academic performance, motor skills, physical coordination and attention to tasks.
Girls on the Run
So, when Catelyn told me she wanted to join her school’s local chapter of Girls on the Run, I was pretty excited for her!
Girls on the Run is a great place for Catelyn. She enjoys running. She enjoys challenges. She has a hard time in social situations. And with this group, she has an opportunity to learn that anything is possible for her.
Girls on the Run is designed to inspire girls to learn that they can do anything. Sure they run, but they also spend a lot of time in group. They discuss what is important to them. They talk about healthy relationships and how they can positively connect and help shape the world.
Catelyn and the girls stretch, laugh and connect with each other. At the end of each meeting the girls stretch and do cheers for each other celebrating each girls strengths. The coaches work to help the girls understand themselves, value relationships and teamwork. The coaches help the girls to improve their competence, feel confident, develop character and create positive connections with peers.
At the end of each season the girls complete a 5k with a running buddy. The 5K gives the girls a goal to work to through the season and a goal to accomplish. The message? Making the impossible, possible.
I am also super psyched about the awesome message Girls on the Run is providing to Cate. Cate has a hard time engaging in social relationships. Cate is not one to primp and has had a hard time being a flexible friend. She has been bullied before and tends to keep to herself. Girls on the Run provides Cate with an excellent outlet to allow her to feel good accomplishing a 5K and allows her to discover and build healthy relationships.
The girls are great individuals that really embrace the idea of building healthy relationships. As Cate was finishing a practice 5K recently, the girl who came in first came to run the final stretch to the finish line with Cate, cheering her on the whole way.
Cate came in 5th with a finishing time of 25:51. She was so very proud of herself and continued to cheer the other girls as they came in. And when the last girl came in? The field we all stood on was LOUD as she got cheers galore! Fast or slow didn’t matter – these girls did something and they were doing it together!
Girls on the run is great as it is designed to help the girls see they are wonderful, to feel confident, build healthy relationships and realize they can do anything. The group also helps Cate socialize in a group setting.
And feel super good about herself!
The message from Girls on the Run:
Simple, engaging and extraordinary. The result? Healthy, confident girls who CAN.