Martial Arts anyone?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2005
Martial Arts anyone?
8
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 9:20am

Does anyone here have their Aspie in Martial Arts classes? What type?

5yo DS (diagnosed w/PDD-NOS) took a couple of intro Karate classes which went well, but we decided not to continue at the time due to cost and the distance from our house. We've since tried another place much closer to home that follows a different type of Martial Arts- Kuk Sool Won- and he could not handle it. The place was very family friendly, but he was not ready for it and they told us to wait awhile whereas the Karate place was ready to sign him up.

I'm interested in others' experiences with Martial Arts...

Laura, mom to

12/08

Laura, mom to

12/08
Avatar for ralenth
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 9:25am
Alex does karate. His diagnosis is ADHD and ODD, but we suspect Aspergers. Anyway, it has been AMAZING for him. The program he does involves his whole life. To pass to his next belt, I need to sign off that he's been respectful at home, and his teacher needs to sign off as well. He gets stripes (which earn him an extra reward when he gets a new belt) for reading time, self discipline, acts of kindness, and karate homework. We've been working really hard at self-discipline and acts of kindness, and the karate really helps. Their different sections involve more than just karate, too - how to deal with bullies, introducing your self to people, conversations, etc. Like I said, it has been AMAZING. His Dojo studies IssinRyu karate. Not sure exactly what the differences are, but like I said, it's been amazing for Alex.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2004
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 10:42am

I had Aria in karate (kenpo) for about 8 months. She was 4 when she started and was just not ready. She liked it and I did see small improvement in her gross motor skills, however she did not understand when to use it. So while she was doing well in class, at school she was becoming more effective in punching and kicking her classmates! We are going to try again when she is a bit older. It was about $90 a month and she went to 2 classes a week.

HTH,

Kerri

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2005
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 11:08am

Thanks for the replies!

I just found a Kenpo Karate center close by. It seems like a very active, movement-based practice. I do worry about DS understanding when/how to use his skills outside of class, but I like the idea of it carrying into our home life and needing to do certain tasks in other areas in order to move "up" to the next leavel.

DS is just turning 5 this week, and we've already got a busy Summer planned, but maybe this is something to consider again in the Fall.

Laura, mom to

12/08

Laura, mom to

12/08
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 4:54pm
My then undiagnosed Aspie did Karate in Kindergarten. He had a lot of frustration issues with the mandatory sparring at the end of each class. He simply was no match for the other kids when it came to motor planning and strength and of course, he lost every time and would end up melting down after most classes. We pulled him out of that and put him in a non-competitive activity, swimming. Fast forward five years later and I saw that a different martial arts studio offered Chambara, which is Japanese sword play. My son is wild about the Zelda video games and enjoyed a brief class in fencing so I signed him up. The director
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 7:40am

This is one of those cases where local special needs Moms are your best resources. If you have a SEPTA (Special Ed PTA) or any local support groups for special needs; ASA, CHADD local community center, either in your town or an adjoining one, I recommend you join them and get hooked into the Mommy Network.

Those ladies know the best classes for special needs kids in your area and can come up with recommendations and with "whatever you do, don't go to..."

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 7:55am

I agree with Paula on this one, this is an area where it will be highly specific not to the type of activity, but to the individual teacher and class. We did try a couple of taekwondo and judo sessions with our Aspie but it was particularly hopeless and he wasn't suited to it. Our 7 year old NT star-wars obsessed little one has taken to taekwondo like a duck to water, and has a particularly good teacher who really gets how to motivate little boys - and there are a couple of kids with ASD in the class that he deals very well with. So it is a case of asking around, and trying a class or two and also talking to the teacher a lot: you will get a very good sense of whether your kid will be happy there from what your mummy gut instinct tells you about the class and the teacher.


Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 3:27pm

My almost-13 year old took Tae Kwondo for years and ended up 2 belts away from a black belt before he really lost interest. He wasn't great at the sparring, although I have to give him that he tried. He was very good at remembering forms. It was hard to get him to practice because that memory of his was so good, hence his physical form was often sloppy and his sensei would make him go over and over forms, which sometimes frustrated him.

We were always happy with the many things he learned from having done Tae Kwondo, but we also had a good teacher who was patient yet demanding. Part of why he ended up quitting was because the other friends he had been doing it with left or quit, so he didn't have any friends there during the practices, and I think that was always a big part of the appeal to him!

yours,

Sara

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 11:52pm

Mike did take martial arts for a few years. We tried a few times before it worked though.

A couple things really were neccessary for success. 1) Being ready age and maturity wise (it does take a bit longer for our guys to be ready), 2) a sensei with the right attitude, understanding and personality and 3)the right environoment or in other words classes that are well organized with a routine and not overcrowded with lots of screaming and too many quick verbal directions.

There are local to us as well some karate instructors that have classes specially for people with special needs or some that work more with people with needs. They weren't available when we were looking but I know they are now.

I do think the biggest part of Mike's success was his sensei and his willingness to be understanding of Mike and his differences. I have always explained to anyone working with Mike he challenges (to not is a BAD thing). This guy got it or at least wanted to and tried and if he made a goof he would ask me about it or try to fix it next time.

Beware though. A lot of other typical instructor guys thought they could discipline the autism out of him. That was way bad.

At the tree Tunnel

APOV on Autism
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