ASD stands for autism spectrum disorder. This is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 out of every 45 children between the ages of 3 and 17 in the United States. ASD impairs social interactions and hinders both verbal and non-verbal communication. It’s also characterized by repetitive, almost obsessive, behaviors. Parents of autistic children often struggle with finding the right physical activities that mesh with this disorder. Can martial arts classes be the answer? Recent studies seem to think so! Let’s take a closer look! If your son or daughter is curious about kids martial arts in Raleigh NC, call Gracie Raleigh for a tour of the gym! We have a great junior’s program that does not require any contract for children. Call us today to find out more.
Martial Arts and Autism
The University of Wisconsin conducted a study in 2010 that produced positive results. They proved that martial arts is a great fit for autistic children. The results found that martial arts training helped these children with ASD improve their physical fitness and coordination, become more social with peers and adults, and benefited from a self-esteem boost.
John Greany is an assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is also the father of a child suffering from ASD. After doing extensive research on this subject, he could not find suitable scientific answers. Greany, two grad assistants, and Fred Nicklaus (owner of the Nicklaus Martial Arts America Studio) set off on an 11-week study. They recruited six high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders to participate in weekly 45 minute sessions.
The study confirmed that these children made huge strides. Almost half of them improved their social skills and came out of their shell. Parents reported that their kids were more cooperative and assertive, eye contact improved, and so did play skills. Parents also said that there was less fighting and arguing, and that their children had more self confidence. Coordination also improved. The average balance time for one-legged stands jumped from 9 seconds to 19 over the course of the study.
To find out exactly why martial arts helps children with ASD, check out the next post in this series. If your child is ready for a new life or athletic challenge, please keep reading to see why Gracie is the best gym in Raleigh, NC for kids interested in learning martial arts.
Kids Martial Arts in Raleigh NC | Gracie Raleigh
Our Junior Gracie Programs were created so that your son or daughter will be armed with a strong set of values and solid personal character. Our world class instructors for kids martial arts in Raleigh NC will teach them how to persevere through life’s tough obstacles.
This program is specifically for children between the ages of 6 and 12, and there is no contract required. We provide a safe and nurturing environment where your child will experience real team building, cooperation and respect. They’ll also learn other positive core values such as focus, discipline, persistence, and dedication. Please give us a call today to learn more.