When we talk about integration, and the need to help children with disabilities have normal interactions, and be part of normal schools, therapy becomes a concern. We all want children with disabilities to be accepted and be a part of their communities; however we don’t want to lose the opportunity to teach children in a structured therapeutic environment, so that they can reach their greatest potential. Moreover, some children with disabilities have specific needs that cannot be addressed within the classroom.
In this sort of situation, we need to explore ideas for providing therapy to the child within the school environment. Sensory integration therapy is one of the frequently used treatments for autism. It aims at providing sensory input in an organized way that will help the child to develop sensory systems. Sports could be a way of providing sensory integration therapy in a way that is acceptable socially in a school situation. A therapist could assess a child and schedule one or more specific sports activities for the child to take part in during the day or over the week, and this could be part of the child’s therapy for autism.
It would require a little modification of the child’s schedule and a little extra effort for the teachers and the school authorities. But it would mean that the child is able to concentrate better, learn better, and get better grades.
Sports therapy can also be used for therapy in the evenings which involves siblings, and other children in the community. Thus, this type of therapy has a lot of potential for children with autism. To know more about the benefits of sports therapy and different sports that can be used for different sensory needs in autism, read my article on “ What is the Value of Sports Therapy for Autistic Children”.