Autism Fact Sheet

Autism is a neuro-developmental condition that affects 1 in 68 children today. The brain of a child with autism is easily overwhelmed with information which may cause symptoms that appear to be misbehavior. Children with this condition take longer to learn and understand how to navigate everyday situations.  Each child will vary across abilities and intelligence, which is why autism is a spectrum.  This means that the brain of a child with autism developed differently than other brains, which affects the child’s thinking, behaviors and emotions.

The brain in a child with autism = The brain has a complicated set of neuronal connections (imagine at least 100 trillion highways and streets in your neighborhood. These highways do not always go in the right direction and are broken.  If you are going down a highway and the road ends abruptly, you have to try to navigate how to get to your destination. A child with autism’s symptoms comes out because of these broken connections.

At KEEN sports, volunteers might see children with autism have difficulties with:

  • Motor movements
    Examples: riding a bike, running, or throwing a ball
  • Engaging with others
    Examples: poor eye contact and not knowing how to socialize with others
  • Emotional regulation
    Examples: getting frustrated, angry, sad without a known cause
  • Language
    Examples: expressing basic needs like needing the bathroom or water

Children with autism benefit from exercise for many reasons.  Exercise helps improve balance, coordination, strength, motivation, focus, memory, and overall health and happiness. Exercise also reduces stress, excess weight, and negative behaviors.

Children with autism learn from watching other people do all sorts of activities, so thank you for being a positive model!!!