Tag Archive for 'autism'

Football Together at Home

During the lockdown we continued to train children with intellectual disabilities.

This is the cover of the “Quaderno Tecnico di Calcio Insieme a Casa” (Technical Notebook of Soccer Together at Home) that we created in collaboration with Roma Cares.

And an example of exercise. Thanks to all the staff who made it possible.

Workshop: Football and inclusion.AS Roma experience with the young with intellectual disabilities

Calcio Insieme is a project of psychological, relational and motor empowerment through soccer for young people with intellectual disabilities, with particular reference to autism spectrum disorder.

Since 2015, the Fondazione Roma Cares, an expression of the social responsibility of AS Roma Calcio, and Asd Accademia Calcio Integrato have been organizing annual motor development programs through soccer for children with intellectual disabilities. The surveys conducted have highlighted the constant presence of children during the activities and the satisfaction of their families and the motor, sports and psychosocial benefits derived from these programs.

The aim of this Seminar is to present the results of the research conducted, illustrate the model of intervention, realized for the first time in youth soccer with the collaboration of AS Roma coaches, sports psychologists, speech therapists, doctors and manager for relations with schools and families.

Autism, sport and summer camp

Summer camp for children with ASD and parents’ perception of changes in psycho-social skills


IJSP, 2019, 50, 162-175

The study examined in children with ASD their psychosocial behaviors pre/post a summer sport camp of two intensive weeks in term of time (5 hours per day) and multidisciplinary approach. Participants were 29 children (8-13 years) from mild to severe degrees of ASD. They alternated the three activities each day for a time of 75 minutes: soccer, aquatic activities and expressive activities. The team leading the camp consisted in coaches, sport psychologists, one speech-language therapist and one physician. The Adaptive Social Skills Measure (Walker et al. 2010) has been used to assess the children psychosocial skills in four areas: verbal communication, social interaction, transitions and attention to task. The parents filled the questionnaire pre/post the camp assessing the psychosocial competences of their children. Results showed the parents perceived significant improvement in children for all four subscales. The data outlined the relevance to study in a natu- ralistic context these psychosocial skills in a short period of training but intensive for number of hours per day and activities practiced.

Book review: Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

James K. Luiselli (Ed.)

New York, Oxford University Press

2014, 266 p.


My interest as sport psychologist in the autism disorder is born from the idea that the motor-cognitive activities and sport could affect this mental disorder in positive way improving globally the youth life style and their psychosocial and motor skills. It could seem obvious to underly this concept but it’s not, for the reason that till today it has been very few to involve these individuals in sport or motor programs on regular basis. From my side as practitioner reading this book I received a lot of updated information about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as  a relatively new diagnostic label which reflects the variability in the differentiation of symptomatology among children and youth commonly described as having autistic disorder, high-functioning autism (HFA), and Asperger’s syndrome.

Skillfully edited by James K. Luiselli Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a book of 15 chapters describing not only the theories about the autistic disorders but in same time presents the current best practices emerged from the evidence-based research, research-to-practice translation of empirically supported procedures, and consensus-driven recommendations from multiple disciplines.

For sport professionnels like coaches, sport managers, physicians and psychologists this book provide al leats three kinds of main information. The first is that also for these youth the sport determines healthy effects on their life. Second, in the same time, it’s not clear which could be the best coaching program to provide them and third we have a lot to learn from the other settings of their life, with the aim to adapt the strategies used in school or in other naturalistic approaches to build a program. Goal of the program is to develop self-management and self-regulation of their life starting from easy tasks. In my opinion, the most relevant chapter, after that ones of the first section devoted to diagnoses, assessment and measurement, is in the second section and it’s titled “Self-management and Self-regulation”. It provides the main frame to understand the goal of the interventions in the different area of the life while all the other chapters cover specific topics to achieve this goal of self-management.

All the other chapters are very interesting and each reader will find that one that will be more useful to reach his/her goals with these guys. The seven chapters of the section two describe best practices and from all of them sport practitioners can receive information and support to build their programs. Sections three (with the chapter on Exercise, Physical Activity and Sports) and four discuss in deep topics regarding food, sleep, mindful caregivers, cognitive-behavioral therapy and behavioral family intervention.

I recommend this book to all work in sport with youth of mental disorders, it provides information research-based and best practices to know in order to improve the program with youth with special needs