See article on sports for children with autism in new Autism Spectrum Quarterly magazine

Jason McElwain, who has autism, scored 20 points in four minutes in a high school basketball game in 2006. AP Photo/Eric Sucar.

One of my articles has been published in the new issue of Autism Spectrum Quarterly magazine.  It’s about sports and exercise for children with autism, and how sports can help kids improve their social and cognitive skills.

A high functioning child with autism may be able to play in a typical league with help from a “shadow,” or a child can participate in organizations like Special Olympics or Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN).  Even playing catch during play dates can be a start.

Sports can be a great way to help kids with autism make friends, improve communication, and above all, have fun.

Here’s a sample of the article:

Four years ago, Jason McElwain, a teenager with autism, became an overnight sensation by scoring 20 points in four minutes of action in a high school basketball game. . . . Regardless of whether children with autism are high functioning like McElwain, or are less advanced cognitively, playing sports can have profound effects on several aspects of their lives. For example, sports can help kids with autism gain confidence, improve social skills, and develop better coordination. Improvements in balance and motor planning skills often go hand in hand with progress in cognitive function, academic achievement, and organizational skills.

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