This is a blog post from Amy Bodnarik of Spectrum Resources of North Carolina, a Family Services Community Grants recipient. The 2013 grant cycle is now open.
Spectrum Resources of North Carolina is an agency that provides services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related social learning issues. We were excited to learn that we were selected to receive a grant from Autism Speaks that allowed us to develop a sports-related program for the adolescents that we serve entitled Sports Authorities: Facts, Fundamentals and Strategy .
The Sports Authorities curriculum was designed to help fill in the gaps for some of our kids by providing specific classroom instruction about the basics of sports using a format in which many of our students learn best. Classroom instruction was provided to teach participants about the history, fundamentals and interesting trivia and an On-Field instructional component allowed them to generalize their knowledge within a safe and supportive environment supervised by a sports coach and autism specialist.
The program also included a parent training component for each sports session and peer models as often as possible. Conequently, this little bit of knowledge taught in a structured manner seems to have helped to make participating in a variety of sports more comfortable and enjoyable for students that have difficulty picking up the basics of sports out on the field,court or in the gym at school. Parent feedback has been phenomenal and we are so appreciative of the opportunity that Autism Speaks has given Spectrum Resources to bring our little idea to life and help our kids understand and experience all of the wonderful aspects that sports can bring to their lives.
Check out a video of the basketball clinic here