Read first: 5 Things Your PE Student with Autism Wishes You Knew
1. You can give me signals when I need to activate my self-regulation sensory tools.
These are quick exercises that will give me some much needed deep touch pressure input to stay calm and focused.
- Stand with feet together and hands together at midline or “prayer pose” Push hands together and hold to count of 3 and release. Repeat.
- If standing, do wall pushups leaning hard with upper body and pressing hands into a wall. Release and repeat.
- If sitting do chair pushups by leaning forward in chair and putting hands under thighs. Lean forward and try to get feet a few inches off floor by pushing up on hands. Release and repeat.
2. I am often very sensitive to smell.
So new playground balls, and/or other items PVC items may bother me and cause me to get anxious or aggressive but I may not be able to tell you why.
- Open up new equipment and remove plastic wrap a day or two ahead of time to let the new product “breathe” and help dissipate aroma.
- Avoid perfumes/men’s cologne, aftershave or other synthetic based fragrance products.
3. I may be awkward and not well coordinated because of motor planning and/or muscle tone issues.
- Be sure to include me in simple 1-2 step tasks so I can build on my success.
- I may be good at team sports statistician activities since math may be one of my strengths and might help me feel more successful.
- Video Modeling is a great way to teach me to learn a new skill if I can watch it first before trying.
4. I do not always understand the subtleties of verbal and non- verbal communication (social/pragmatic skills).
- Teach me about idioms like we can’t have PE outside today because it is raining like “cats and dogs.” Help me understand that this is not literal but a way to describe that it is raining very hard.
- I often don’t know how far away to stand from someone when I am talking/engaging with them so again using gym tape, spot markers and/or hula hoops may be helpful.
5. Group activities may just be too overwhelming for me.
If I can pair up with a (patient!) single classmate this can help me learn to model the behaviors/skills I need to learn.
I hope these suggestions help you help me better in your PE Class! Thank you for understanding!