Tag Archive for 'autismo'

10 reasons to play football for young with autism

10 ragioni per cui i giovani con disabilità intellettiva traggono beneficio dal gioco del calcio
  1. Il calcio è lo sport più amato dai giovani di tutto il mondo: si può giocare ovunque, al chiuso e all’aperto, ogni luogo si può trasformare in un campo di calcio e chiunque indipendentemente dalle sue capacità può giocare una partita.
  2. Il pallone è un strumento sportivo senza rivali: lo puoi calciare con i piedi o con le mani e colpire con ogni parte del corpo; tutti possono passare la palla, tirare in porta o provare a parare un tiro. Dai un pallone a un gruppo di bambini e non si stancheranno di rincorrerlo.
  3. Il calcio favorisce l’inclusione di tutti, ogni ragazzo o ragazza può correre dietro una palla, toglierla a un altro, tirare, passare e parare.
  4. I giovani con disabilità intellettiva sono di solito esclusi dal gioco del calcio, perché sono rare le opportunità che gli vengono offerte.
  5. Giocare a calcio e con il pallone gli permette di stare con i compagni di classe, con i loro amici e di conoscerne di nuovi.
  6. Calcio è stare all’aria aperta, vedere le stagioni anche se si vive in città e imparare a muoversi con gli altri quando fa freddo o caldo o quando tira vento.
  7. Calcio è partecipare a un allenamento centrato su apprendimenti nuovi che determinano il miglioramento delle abilità motorie di base, coordinazione, abilità tecnico- tattiche, abilità di comunicazione, collaborazione e cognitivo-affettive.
  8. Calcio è stare in gruppo insieme durante l’allenamento, condividere gli stessi spazi, esercitandosi da soli ma anche con un altro compagno o in piccoli gruppi.
  9. Calcio è vestire la divisa della propria squadra, la Roma, andare allo stadio insieme a tutto il gruppo a vedere le partite e andare a scuola con questa uniforme, essere riconosciuti dai compagni come allievi della scuola calcio della Roma.
  10. Calcio è integrazione, allenandosi e partecipando a tornei e giocando partite di calcio integrato 5vs5 composte da tre giovani con disabilità intellettiva e due giovani della AS Roma.

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

Calcio Insieme è un progetto di empowerment psicologico, relazionale e motorio tramite il calcio per giovani con disabilità intellettiva, con particolare riferimento al disturbo dello spettro autistico.

Dal 2015 la Fondazione Roma Cares, espressione della responsabilità sociale dell’AS Roma Calcio, e Asd Accademia Calcio Integrato orga- nizzano su base annuale programmi di sviluppo motorio attraverso il gioco del calcio per bambini con disabilità intellettive. Le indagini condotte hanno evidenziato la costante presenza dei bambini durante le attività e la soddisfazione delle loro famiglie e i benefici motori, sportivi e psicosociali che derivano da questi programmi.

Scopo di questo Seminario è di presentare i risultati delle ricerche condotte, illustrare il modello d’intervento, realizzato per la prima volta nel calcio giovanile con la collaborazione degli istruttori della AS Roma, degli psicologi dello sport, del logopedista, dei medici e dei responsabili dei rapporti con le scuole e le famiglie.

Sport for young people with intellectual disabilities is not possible at the moment

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the odds to access sports were stacked much higher for youth with a disability than the general population. Physical activity levels are 4.5 times lower for youth with a disability, and the obesity rate is 38% higher for these children, according to the National Center on Health, Physical Activity & Disability (NCHPAD).

Now, as youth sports start to return from COVID-19 in some states, the gap to access opportunities may grow even wider. The disabled community is taking a more conservative approach on when and how to play sports again because of health concerns.

I n the area of intellectual disability that I deal with  the project Calcio Insieme, we were unable to organize the summer camps precisely because of the difficulty in maintaining physical distance with these children. 

“People with disabilities are very much being more cautious,” said Bob Lujano, NCHPAD inclusion specialist and a former Paralympic rugby athlete. “There’s great fear of, if I do come down with (COVID-19) and I go to a hospital with only one or two ventilators, am I going to be passed over because Joe Smith, a 25-year-old without a disability, will get taken care of first?”

“Being ‘first’ in your community should be avoided,” Move United said in its return to play guidelines. “Take the benefit of some time to learn from other effective strategies, plan carefully, train your providers and form local partnerships that help prepare for the safest possible environment.”

Disability alone may not be related to higher risk for contracting COVID-19 or having severe illness, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, CDC says some people with disabilities might be at a higher risk because of their underlying medical conditions. According to CDC, adults with disabilities are three times more likely than adults without disabilities to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer than adults without disabilities.

One significant concern about returning to sports is maintaining the safety of staff and volunteers in cases where youth need help to play.

Experts told The New York Times that one way to teach new concepts during COVID-19 to kids with intellectual disabilities is through “social stories.” These are individualized short stories that pair simple language with pictures used for children with disorders such as autism. They also recommend using color-coded circles to teach social distancing – such as red for strangers, orange for people you would normally wave to, green and yellow for casual and close friends, and blue for people you can hug, such as parents or siblings.

We have to be cautious, as they say, with Roma Cares and Accademia di Calcio Integrato we are planning what the return to football will look like for our young people with autism from September, the beginning of the 2020/21 football season. It will not be easy but it is our will not to stop this activity so important for these young people, the families and for us who have been organizing it for 5 years.

We will need more space and more hours to cover the same number of young people, so as to respect the physical distance and the possibility to play football which requires a large and structured space.

How Autism families are coping with coronavirus

In a new national survey, families of children with autism say that services have been severely disrupted because of coronavirus, but they are adapting and even finding some silver linings.

With schools and other providers shuttered, more than 75 percent of families reported moderate to severe interruptions to their children’s services and therapies, with speech therapy the most impacted. The disruptions were more pronounced for kids under age 5.

The findings come from a survey of over 8,000 families with children on the spectrum about life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online questionnaire was sent to families that have participated in SPARK, a broad effort to collect and study genetic data from people with autism and their families that’s funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative.

At the time of the survey — which was conducted between March 20 and 30 — about a third of families said they were receiving remote services or therapies. And, nearly half said they were seeing benefits.

More than 62 percent reported that their child with autism was feeling good overall and about half of parents said the same of themselves. At the same time, however, nearly everyone who responded said the disruptions caused by coronavirus had negatively impacted the behavior of their child with autism and 82 percent said it had affected their child’s mental and emotional health. Parents also cited concerns about losing hard-won skills.

Still, some parents reported seeing positives amid the challenges. One parent indicated that her child struggled at school socially and with communication, but seemed happier and calmer at home. Others said that online classes allowed their kids to move at a slower pace.

Hundreds of parents said that breathing exercises, yoga, prayer, meditation and other mindfulness exercises have been helpful in dealing with the situation. Maintaining a daily schedule was also crucial to preventing behavior issues, the survey found.”

Overweight and obesity risk for children with autism

Chanaka N. Kahathuduwa et al. (2019). The risk of overweight and obesity in children with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 20, 667–1679.

This meta‐analysis provides evidence‐based support to suggest that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) seem to have a greater risk of developing overweight or obesity, particularly when living in the United States. Our results also highlighted non‐Caucasian race, increasing age, female sex, and living in the United States as potential factors associated with an increased risk of developing overweight and obesity in children with ASD.

The mechanisms through which ASD may increase the risk of excessive weight gain and the contributions of the moderators of this association need to be established in pancontinental studies.

Based on our findings, awareness must be raised among practitioners, especially in the United States, about the increased risk of obesity in children with ASD. Clinicians need to be vigilant about these issues, identify potential contributors to the association between ASD and obesity, and develop early interventions to reduce weight gain in this pediatric population.

Autism and football

Yesterday simple twitter had 2353 views. It’s a photo of a meeting of our staff discussing the new training program for children with intellectual disabilities and largely autistic, to improve their motor learning and teach football.

The interest it has aroused shows how the theme of sports practice for these children (6-13 years) is topical, there are few who are regularly involved in sport, we do not really know how many of them, how often and what activities they do. Research data shows these children practice individual sports, mainly running and swimming. Programs involving them in football schools are extremely rare, as they require competent coaches and psychologists. Often football is not recommended for these children because they are placed in groups with young people with typical development and coaches who do not have time and skills to teach them.

Roma Cares, AS Roma and the Integrated Football Academy have been designing and implementing the “Calcio Insieme” project for 5 years, which currently involves 70 children with intellectual disabilities. It involves a staff of 10 coaches, 5 sports psychologists, 1 speech therapist, 1 doctor, 1 manager of relations with families and schools, 1 technical manager and 1 scientific manager. It is a complex project that involves children from October to June twice a week. The results obtained and published in scientific journals have shown significant improvements in the motor and psychosocial areas.

Risk of overweight and obesity in children with autism

The risk of overweight and obesity in children with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

Kahathuduwa CNWest BD  Blume J  Dharavath  Moustaid-Moussa N Mastergeorge A

Obesity reviews. 2019 Oct 8

Multiple studies have suggested that autism spectrum disorders seem to increase the risk of overweight and obesity. We examined the pooled prevalence and relative risk of developing overweight or obesity among children with autism spectrum disorders in a systematic review and meta‐analysis. We searched PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, and Web of Science databases and subsequently screened the records to identify studies that reported prevalence of overweight and/or obesity in children with ASD and matched groups of neurotypical children. DerSimonian‐Laird random‐effects meta‐analyses were performed to examine pooled prevalence and relative risk of obesity in children with autism spectrum disorders using the “meta” package in R software. Among children with autism spectrum disorders, the prevalence of obesity was 22.2%. Children with ASD had a 41.1% greater risk (P = .018) of development of obesity. Non‐Caucasian race, increasing age, female sex, and living in the United States emerged as positive moderators of the association between autism spectrum disorders and prevalence of overweight or obesity. Autism spectrum disorders seem to increase the risk of childhood obesity. Increased awareness of this association may allow the implementation of early interventions to reduce obesity and prevent potential deterioration of quality‐of‐life in this population.

Stephan El Shaarawy with the children of the project “Soccer Together”

Autismo and sport: a relation not well known

Sport for young people with intellectual disabilities, children and adolescents, especially with autism spectrum syndrome is a difficult wall to break down. There are too many dogmatic thoughts blocking the opportunity for the development in this age group, which is critical for the approach that can to provide at their life not only in these years but also for the future as adults.

Sedentary and overweight are the most common outcomes faced by these young people and their families. In Italian school system the young with disabilities are 216,013, equal to 2.4% of the entire population (close to 9 million students).

Of these, 68% are young people with intellectual disabilities.

How many of them practice sports or physical activity continuously? Unfortunately we do not know and this is already a rather serious fact that highlights the limited interest in sport. How many sports organizations are carrying out programs for these young people? Even on this point, information is very scarce and families have not places where to ask about this.

We could continue with many other questions, which at the moment did not find an answer.

Finally, the scientific data, not only in Italy, even internationally are reduced. Rather, it’s better to follow the motto: “sport is good, do it”. Little is known about the training programs carried out, about the characteristics of the professionals involved, there are no longitudinal studies.

In Italy, Even the recent book on “Good practices in autism” published by the Psychologist Register certainly interesting for the aspects related to diagnosis and relationships between School, Families and Services, ignores sports as a system of empowerment of young people with ASD. It is a pity that they did not inquire about this issue, because sport is instead an essential piece for the development of young people with ASD.

International Journal of Sport Psychology has dedicated a special issue on the subject and anyone interested can request it from the publisher Luigi Pozzi.

World Day of Autism Awareness

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