While most parents would shudder at the idea of their children attending boxing training, picturing them with bloody noses and fighting in school, there are actually huge benefits to children who train in boxing.
Boxing training gives children confidence and helps focus them. It also helps children to sleep better, improves reaction time and memory. Not to mention it is a great way to keep your children fit and healthy.
While all of these benefits may seem obvious, how do they in particular relate to children with autism? Parents of children with autism will know that generally autistic people have slower reaction times, have irregular sleeping patterns and can suffer from stress/anxiety especially in social situations.
Boxing training provides a very unique platform for children with autism to battle all of these symptoms while also getting some exercise. If nothing else the gym would provide a sensory seeking dream for the children and they would thouroughly enjoy punching a bag, running around and letting off some steam.
Writing for Autism.com Stephen M. Edelson Ph.D. stresses the importance of regular exercise for children with autism.
“One of the most effective treatments for autistic people is exercise. Studies show that vigorous or strenuous exercise is associated with decreases in stereotypic (self-stimulatory) behaviours, hyperactivity, aggression, self-injury, and destructiveness.
“Vigorous exercise means a 20-minute or longer aerobic workout, 3 to 4 days a week; mild exercise has little effect on behaviour. Many autistic children gain weight if they have an inactive life-style, and weight gain brings another set of problems.”
While not every boxing gym will prove to be appropriate for children with autism, depending on the size of class and how focused the training is, it is worth speaking to the trainers at your local gym and see if a few classes could benefit your child.
Paul O’Dea, Pundit Arena