For the past 4 years, AAAsports have been working closely with many organisations to increase the participation of Members with a Disability and ensure everyone receives a high quality experience of the sport. In 2016, AAAsports signed up to the Autism Charter and through intensive training and our experience in working with Members with Autism, we believe we can offer Inclusive Classes for everyone.
Many of our members have a diagnosis of Autism, which is a communication and developmental disorder. The spectrum of Autism is so great, one Member might struggle to use words whilst another Member's diagnosis may be unrecognisable at times. Here at AAAsports, we recognise each Member as an Individual and find ways to adapt the Class to allow everyone to learn and have fun in a calm, safe environment.
For Autism Awareness Week, we spoke with a parent who brings their child with an ASD Diagnosis to AAAsports.
What sport does J take part in:
J takes part in Recreational Trampoline once a week.
How has attending AAAsports helped J?
J gets so much both physically and socially from coming to his Trampoline Class. He has made lots of new friends and will now initiate interactions and conversations with both the other Members and the AAAsports Coaches. This is something J struggled massively with before, so it is great from a parent perspective to see how much he has developmentally progressed.
What has AAAsports done to ensure the Classes are Inclusive?
The AAAsports Coaches have all gone above and beyond to ensure J is having fun and progressing. Every class he attends he is engaged with the activity. He has built up a good rapport with his Coaches and they understand what works well, and not so well for J. The Coaches created Glitter Shakers to keep J occupied when waiting for his turn and use crazy vocabulary when Coaching him. This works really well for J and has helped him break down communication barriers within the Class.
The Coaches are always on hand to provide additional support to J in the Warm-Up’s and Cool Down’s and use different techniques to ensure he understands all the instructions.
How has attending AAAsports classes helped J?
J gets so much out of attending his Class. Bouncing on the Trampoline is a great way to regulate his emotions and allows him the freedom to express himself physically. From learning skills to making friends, the Class is focused around having fun and it is lovely to see how happy and confident J now is in an environment other than home.
What does the future hold for J at AAAsports?
We know that J will continue to progress and most importantly, have fun in the Classes which is the driving factor in bringing him. He has already achieved Awards and we are looking forward to seeing J compete in this year’s AAAsports Championships in July. Last year, J had a great time and with the help of his Coach, he came 1st and managed to go up on stage to receive his Trophy. We’re hoping he can replicate it again this year, but as long as he is enjoying himself, that’s all that matters!
What would you say to other parents thinking about bringing their child with ASD to AAAsports?
J always has an amazing time and looks forward to his Class every week! Through attending Trampoline Classes at AAAsports, J has overcome many social/emotional and physical development difficulties. He once struggled to take part in any group activity but with the patience and expertise of the Coaches, J will now happily take part. We have also seen a massive improvement in both J’s physical and mental health. He is now able to make new friends, whilst improving his fitness and just be himself!
If you would like your child to get involved in one of our Classes, please visit www.AAAsports.co.ul/disability or email emily.morritt@AAAsports.co.uk for more information.