Participating in team sports can help children with autism work on gross motor skills and practice their social skills with other kids. I always thought it would be a great experience for Arizona to be part of a team, but felt nervous about what would happen if she was having a rough day or couldn’t keep up with the group.
Therefore, I was thrilled to learn about High Five Basketball, a nonprofit summer basketball league for kids 6-15 years old with autism and other developmental disabilities in the Los Angeles area.
This was Arizona’s first experience on a sports team and was a huge success for her. She felt proud and confident about her new-found skills. She also felt a sense of camaraderie amongst her teammates. Hooray!
From the High Five Team Facebook page, where you can find more information:
Through our mission “Friendship, Focus, Fitness, Fairness & Fun”, we aim to provide a basketball league for youth with autism in order to give them athletic opportunities, social interactions and friendships, an accepting environment to just simply have fun, and that fundamental sense of belonging one gets from being on a team. Our organization consists of dedicated UCLA PhD students and mental health professionals who are experienced in providing fun and fulfilling ways to exercise through team cooperation, and encouraging the development of communication skills, making friends, self-esteem, sense of belonging, and fulfillment through team basketball. Furthermore, we are dedicated to creating an environment not just of tolerance, but compassion and understanding for athletes with special needs.