Skateboarding with ASD

Skateboarding on the spectrum

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-016-2900-810243408

DESCRIPTORS: autism, behavioral skills training, fitness, physical exercise, sports skills

Brief Report Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Skateboarding Skills to a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Is your child interested in new hobbies that seem too complex? Don’t let them shy away from it due to the nature of the activity. Sparta conducted a study with a child with ASD interested in learning how to skateboard. It is important to note that he has zero experience on a board before this experiment. Also, he is below average in motor, communication skills, and social skills for his age. Children in this category tend to take longer in acquiring new skills.

We used behavioral skills training (BST) to teach the child some skateboarding tricks such as 360 right turns, 360 left turns, cruising, ollie, right turn while cruising, and left turn while cruising/riding the skateboard. Our study focused on Behavioral skills training’s impact on learning a new skill, but we also saw how it affected his social surroundings. Numerous kids approach him at the park to learn and play with him. We know that sports training is not a replacement for social communication instruction, but it’s fair to say that it does help to include it within the therapy sessions.

In closing, many different hobbies/interests can be achievable for those in the spectrum and could even help in other areas.