Martial arts classes require quite a bit of social interaction. There is interaction between the teacher and student, as well as plenty of interaction with other classmates. Many drills and activities require a partner and/or cooperation with other students. This helps in nurturing a comfort level for autistic kids, as they become more familiar with their surroundings and others in your martial arts school.
The autism spectrum contains a lot of repetitive behaviors, as does martial arts. Many martial art forms or techniques must be performed many, times, in order to achieve fluency and mastery. Stereotypy is the measure of how frequently someone in the autism spectrum exhibits repetitive motions.
Studies shows that students who learned karate kata, or patterns, which requires a large amount of repetition, exhibit a large and significant reduction in stereotypy after one month of training. With lifelong learning, martial arts and autism create a lasting symbiotic relationship that greatly benefits students.
Motor skills are another faculty the autism spectrum can have difficulty with. Motor planning can be a difficulty for many but learning the necessary body positions and techniques in martial arts can yield huge improvements.
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