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Martial Arts and the Autism Spectrum | Psychology Today

Uncategorized Oct 22, 2019

Article by: Paul Zehr of

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to those who have difficulties with social interactions and communications. Across people there can be a huge variability in presentation of so-called “symptoms," hence the use of “spectrum” in the overall term.

I’m not a big fan of labeling, so now that I’ve got this out of the way, for the rest of this post we’ll just talk about the “autism spectrum” and not “people with," those “disabled” by, etc. It is what it is and lots of people do very well and have great lives. I don’t want to diminish them by using even accidentally pejorative language. Instead I want the focus on the potential everyone has.

In the autism spectrum, issues arise related to verbal and non-verbal communication, and social interactions involving emotional sharing and empathy. Behaviors where the same word, phrase, or movement is repeated in an almost or...

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Karate adatped for autism

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2019
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The Benefits of Traditional Martial Arts for Autism

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2019

For children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there is a large variety in severity and types of symptoms. Most people on the spectrum face some challenges with social interactions and communications. Sometimes repetitive movements, actions or words or phrases can be observed. The traditional method of physical therapy and occupational therapy are useful in managing these challenges, but additional physical activities can often be helpful. For instance, you’ve likely heard about horseback riding becoming significant in the therapeutic field, but there are more options. Traditional Karate has proven to fit the mold.

A study from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and McMaster University has found a group of activities that have shown to reduce stereotypic behaviors, improve emotional and social function, and improve cognition and attention. Amongst these activities are martial arts, yoga, dance, swimming, jogging, and horseback riding. In fact,...

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