Soccer ball field

Sports can be a fun way to exercise, build confidence, build relationships, learn self-regulation skills, and create lifelong habits of healthy living.

We know that regular exercise is good for the brain. It helps with memory, concentration, and mood, among other things. ASIE believes it is important ALL individuals are able to access sports and recreation.  Here are a few hints when considering different sports:

  • Very often, coaches are volunteers who may or may not have information about the special needs of their student athletes. In some instances, it’s not necessary that coaches know all the details of such needs, but very often the information about how a student athlete learns and processes information or regulates behavior and emotions can be very useful to a coach. The more a coach knows about how a child learns, the more effective that coach can be in working with the child.
  • Individuals with autism may have trouble processing incoming language and information (receptive language) or they have trouble getting the information or language back out (expressive language)—or sometimes both.  This can affect them when playing on a field or court where the coach is calling out plays or instructions  from the sideline or in the huddle.  Think about how many team sports require children to remember multi-step plays with specific vocabulary.
  • Each sport has its own set of vocabulary and rules (all language based).  Individuals with autism may need repetition and even visual supports to help them learn the rules and vocabulary.

We have a list of resources that are “autism friendly,” but also check your city’s Park and Recreation Department.  Many will have adaptive sports, special needs programs, or your child or the adult may be able to participate in the typical class.

For more information Regarding Sports and Autism:

“The Best Sports for Kids with Sensory Needs” BY Luaren Drobnjak –

Autism Society Options Policy

This Resource Guide was developed to provide families and professionals with an opportunity to find resources related to autism in the Inland Empire in one place.

All information provided or published by the Autism Society Inland Empire is for information purposes only. Specific treatment, therapy or services should be provided to an individual only at the direction of the individual’s doctor, caregiver, or other qualified professional. References to any treatment or therapy option, program, service, or treatment provider are not an endorsement by the Autism Society. References of treatments, therapies, programs, services, and/or providers are not intended to be comprehensive statements. You should investigate alternatives that may be more appropriate for a specific individual. The Autism Society assumes no responsibility for the use made of any information published or provided. The Autism Society Inland Empire provides information, but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society Inland Empire cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval. The Autism Society Inland Empire may add or remove organizations from this list at its discretion.