Conditions and Diseases
Autism
Skateboarding
Aspergers Syndrome

Would skateboarding be good for someone who has Asperger's Syndrome?

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05/23/2012

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It all depends on how well the person with Asperger's copes with hand-eye co-ordination skills. I have Asperger's and have to drive an automatic car as I can't cope with changing gears and keeping an eye on the road, however I also know of a few other people with Asperger's who all drive manual cars. I even know one guy with Asperger's who drives mini steam trains now that takes a lot of hand-eye co-ordination! Also I know another person in our Asperger's group that can ride a uni-cycle - now that has to be worse than a skateboard!

For me it took me until I was about 22 to actually master how to balance on a bike my balance was so off, but once I got the hang of riding a bike I was fine. I think the main thing that helped with that was that I always get a mountain bike, which have a lot bigger and chunkier wheels than normal bikes and are designed with balance in mind (they're designed to go over rocky terrain, so roads are no problem for them!

One thing that did help my hand-eye co-ordination and could possibly help other people is a game that the Venture scouts used to play with me. It was catching a "ball", but instead of using a ball they started with a balloon, later on they told me that they'd used the balloon to start with as a balloon moves slower than a ball, and once you get used to doing something slowly, your hand-eye co-ordination gets better and better. One other thing that they also brought which is probably one of the best toys in the world to teach hand-eye co-ordination was Bop It! This is like a "Simple Simon" game where the device plays music and then on a beat it tells you to do something like "bop it", "spin it", "twist it", "pull it" or "flick it". Using this it teaches hand-eye co-ordination more and more as you have to remember where everything is (and on later levels it replaces the words with just noises, again helping more to associate noises with actions).

I have tried skateboarding with my Asperger's and haven't been very good at it, it's probably best to buy a cheap skateboard and try going down a small ramp first (preferably not one that ends in anything dangerous like a road, or a fence or a wall) and see how you get on (I kept falling off the skateboard). Scooters might be a bit more easier as these have a stick that you can lean on to maintain your balance.

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No because the person suffering fro Asperger's can often be clumsy, not pay attention, etc. Skateboarding isn't as easy as it looks. It is true that young people with Aspergers are highly intelligent, but often do not socialize well with their peers (they try, but others regard them as not paying attention or just being plain rude simply because they don't understand the disease.)

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A yes or no response does not suffice. There is a wide spectrum of the severity and functionality of children with Asperger's, and I have worked with many who present with only minor socialization or attention issues. In fact, attention issues are also hard to define without first-hand knowledge of an individual. A child may not be able to attend to a lesson when he is one of 20 children in a classroom,(a hard task for even a "regular-ed" student), but may be able to display great focus when it comes to another task or activity that he has high interest in.

In order to determine whether skateboarding would be a good sport for this person, judge 1) by his/her maturity decision-making skills � any sport requires responsibility, 2) interest. Also think about modifications that you might be able to make to allow him/her to participate � pads, helmets (good practice anyways), wider, bigger wheels to slow down the board, restrict surfaces he/she is allowed to skate.

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I totally agree with the above poster, but (I was the first poster) my information was off a medical site on Aspergers Disease. However, I agree with the above poster that unless children with this disease can have some form of interaction in sports it stunts their growth and that its very important the child feels they are useful and can do some things like other children.

ANSWER

Although I agree with the above posters about Aspergers sufferers being clumsy, and the need for padded protection and consideration from yourself, I think it needs to be remembered that not all a.s sufferers are the same and should not all be considered the same simply due to having Aspergers. I think it's something you have to figure out from knowing the person you are talking about.

Not only is my boy NOT really clumsy (who has Aspergers) , but Aspergers sufferers become obsessive about their interests and would probably become better at it than most people expect them to be.

(so it depends on the individual with a.s NOT on any stereotype, if they are very clumsy then that's when its relevant)

It revolves more around whether they are on their own or with other people and they could easily find somewhere to go so they could be alone and comfortable. It doesn't have to be classes, or a skateboard rink- they find ways all the time to uninvolve themselves from society, yet continue with their interests, so I'd ask the individual first if he/she likes skateboarding and go from there.

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In autism research there are suggestions that there is a difference between Asperger's Syndrome and high-functioning autism, but, at present, both are often labeled Asperger's Syndrome. One of the differences that has been noticed - that gives rise to the theory that they may be different - is that those who might be better labeled as having high-functioning autism are often good at sports and have better motor control than those with Asperger's Syndrome.

Also, a person with Asperger's might have acceptable fine motor control and below average gross motor control, so some physical activities would be attainable without frustration, while others could seem near impossible. Motor control can improve with practice, so the child's interest in the activity is relevant. The person with Asperger's might have sufficient hand-eye coordination or foot-eye coordination for some activities, but not hand-foot-eye coordination or body-eye coordination for other activities.

Another issue is balance sensitivity. The person with Asperger's may be more sensitive to balance issues than the neuro-typical person, and thus often become dizzy. However, some people with Asperger's are less sensitive to balance so might frequently be found twirling.

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It all depends on the severity of the condition. Consider occupational therapies and some of the suggestions above. Personally, I've had a little bit of success with this, being able to stand on one, roll on a hill at a moderate speed, push myself forward, and even come close to doing an "ollie", or jump. I'm 15, and I'm renowned for being rather clumsy, but I've grown out of many of AS's symptoms, to where some people won't even think I'm any different until I tell them I have the syndrome. Still, it will take a lot of time and dedication to actually overcome such clumsiness, much more than the average person. But then again, you never know if it'll work for you until you try it yourself. By the way, I totally agree with the 4th post.

PS: On a side note, try beatboxing or other forms of music as part of therapy, I've become rather good at it, and it relieves stress and helps give me an identity. It's almost like the repetitive movements some autistic/AS people exhibit, or even a Tourette's tic. It might even help language, although all these claims are as of yet unproven, and require experimentation.