( Waiting for his first competition! He is the one in white)
Tae Kwon Do and Special Needs
I blogged earlier we recently began Tae Kwon Do. You can read about that here.
Martial Arts is one of the best extra curricular activities that any child can participate in, not just a child with special needs. There are many benefits to the program. We have three children who practice martial arts. Two of my three are on the spectrum and it has been wonderful for all 3 of our blessings. So how can Martial Arts help a child with special needs?
There are many ways it can help. According to a study done by the University of Wisconsin, some examples are:
- It may make it easier for an individual to pay attention for longer periods of time
- The repetitive movements of martial arts the individuals dependence on stemming behavior like hand flapping
- Learning new positions may help with motor planning problems, an issue that many with Aspergers face
- This type of therapy can improve core strength and motor control
- The structured social interactions in the martial arts class may improve the skills and confidence of the special needs person
- Having a constructive outlet may reduce disruptive behaviors
Martial Arts represents discipline and structure, something children not only need, but something they yearn for. Over the last decade there has been a tremendous amount of studies performed proving the benefits of Martial Arts with kids who have ADHD, ODD, Aspergers and so on. One of the benefits of martial arts is that it can connect the mind and body together more strongly. This helps many special needs children who have difficulties in this area. Martial arts can help range of motion, flexibility, concentration, social skills, behaviors, and confidence, just to name a few.