Who we are!Team Heroes Inc is a non for profit sports program created specifically for children who are on the autism spectrum.Team Heroes Inc. Mission Statement:*Team Heroes will provide families of children with autism the opportunity to participate in a sport, in an integrated setting. The sport will be run in a modified manner in order to reach the child’s individual needs.*Team Heroes Inc. will provide families of children with autism with materials/supplies they need in order to educate their child.Goals Targeted: Gross motor skills, Teamwork, Sharing,Social Skills, Turn taking, Waiting, Sportsmanship
Autism“a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, usually evident before age 3 that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. “ (IDEA)Autism is a “Spectrum” disorder, a group of disorders with similar features, which can range from mild to severe. Autism is typically referred to as “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD). People with ASD vary widely in abilities, intelligence, and behaviors.Our sports stars fall across this spectrum regarding behavior, language/communication abilities and cognitive development.
Behaviors & Characteristics of Autism Large variety and extremely varied• If you have met ONE child with autism, you have met ONE child with autism. Just as no two people are the same; no two people with Autism are the same. All individuals should be treated with respect and compassion.• Repetitive activities and stereotyped movements: self soothing/calming behaviors-rocking/flapping. Ritualistic behaviors-example- needing mom to drive the same way to soccer camp each week; always needing to kick the soccer ball into the same goal or work with the same coach• Resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines -- requires structure with flexibility built in- introducing new/unfamiliar activities with visuals and/or language to prepare the child. A visual picture schedule with new activities- such as soccer camp added in to prepare the child for the change in routine
Behaviors & Characteristics of Autism• Unusual responses to sensory experiences: loud noises, lights, and certain textures or food or fabrics. The sun on the field, the texture of a new t-shirt, the cut grass –affect our children in a variety of different ways.• Social issues such as trouble interacting with peers, disinterest in peers, saying whatever comes to mind even if it’s inappropriate, difficulty adapting to change, sensitive to being touched. Social skills that many people learn by watching others may need to be taught directly to people with ASD.
Behaviors & Characteristics of Autism• Difficulty understanding emotions, facial expressions and social cues. Children on the spectrum can’t always distinguish when someone is happy or sad.• May prefer solitary play or appear disinterested or unaffected by those around them. May refuse or passively accept hugs or signs of affection.• Difficulty regulating emotions, may lead to reactions that may seem inappropriate. Example: tantruming when denied/delayed access to a preferred item such as a favorite snack.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)• The only scientifically valid methodology in which to treat child on the autism spectrum.• Team Heroes Inc is structured on the premises of Applied Behavior Analysis• In very general terms – ABA is a practice of taking a large skill and breaking it down into smaller more manageable skills. Example: Child has difficulty following directions. Directives are simplified and taught one at a time. (“Come Here”, “Sit down”). Teacher modeling, practice, and generalization of the skill follow.• ABA methods are intended to support persons with autism spectrum disorders in many ways:• To increase behaviors (increase on-task behavior, or social interactions) and to teach new skills (life skills, communication skills, or social skills);
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Continued• To maintain behaviors (self control and self monitoring procedures)• To generalize or to transfer behavior from one situation or response to another (completing assignments in the resource room to performing as well in the mainstream classroom);• To restrict or narrow conditions under which interfering behaviors occur (modifying the learning environment); and• To reduce interfering behaviors (self injury). (adapted from ASAT website)View- YouTube -Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyCx-OLzgJw
Communication• Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS): a book consisting of pictures/words of items the individual needs/likes/wants on a consistent basis. Example: bathroom, cookies
Communication• Dynavox: a speech communication system using an electronic device that incorporates the PECS. It can “speak” for the child, making for easier & more functional communication.
Communication• iPad: Currently most popular & functional assistive communication devise. The iPad offers a large variety of apps or applications to assist and encourage language and social skills.
Positive Reinforcement Positive reinforcement• “catching” a kid doing something you want them to do and rewarding it. The child gets attention and reward as positive reinforcement for doing the right thing and will focus on repeating that behavior Why does it work?• gives children positive goals to work towards instead of focusing on negative consequences to avoid. Positive reinforcement fulfills strong basic psychological needs of every child as well as setting a more positive and healthy tone for the parent-child relationship.
Visual Teaching Methods Social story SoccerToken Economy System Visual Schedule First/Then Boards Grandma’s Law
What is a Coach???• Websters definition – one who instructs or trains• To our children a coach is: a leader, a teacher, a cheerleader, a positive role model• To our families a coaches provides: structure, education, help, respite from judgment, criticismView VideoPeter H. Reynolds and produced by FableVision, movingly conveys the loneliness that a child on the autism spectrum often experiences, and the life-changing impact each of us can have when we reach out and embrace them.• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzSr5F8gt3o
What do we expect from you?• Strong positive attitude- smile on your face -any issues – keep them off the field• Dedication- our children & Team Heroes need you! Please make every effort to attend• Judgment free environment- be aware of your words, looks, gestures –think before acting!!!• Model appropriate behavior – in your actions, dress and attitude• Be prepared- wear you badge, T-Shirt, whistle• Big Smiles, lots cheering and encouragement!!!
Appropriate Language & Behavior• Child first language at all time – Our sports stars are children first. Ex: John Smith is a child affected by autism, not an autistic child.• If a child is displaying difficult behavior-please seek out an experienced board member for help. Example: Ellen, Mrs. Smith needs your help. Please avoid commenting on inappropriate behaviors.• If you are unsure if parent requires help- ASK! Example: Is there anything I can do? Could I get you something?• If you are unsure of a response to a parents question-Please check with Ellen or a senior board member. Let the parent know you will ask Ellen and find out the answer for them. (when appropriate)
A Day At Camp!• Arrive: 9:30 AM Set up cones, goals and equipment, go over targets for the day• 10:00 AM First Session Arrives (3 -5 years old) Greet with smiles initially-later, hi5’s, Pat on back as appropriate• Warm Up Exercises – stretching- practice following a “Do This” directive• Skill Set: Dribbling through cones• Skill Set: Kicking ball into goals• Game: Stop-Go• Water Break!• Skill Set: Passing with a Partner• Skill Set: Kicking into Goals• Game: Stop-Go• Good Game! Hi5’s down the line for coaches & players- Good Sportsmanship!• 11:00 Second Session Arrives (6 – 9 years old)• Second Session – Same basic routine as the first• 11:45 Clean Up- pack up materials
SAFETYWhistles are our alert system that a childhas eloped or is in serious danger (runningin street, etc.). You will be given acoaching whistle to be used for thispurpose and this purpose only. We fullyexpect to never need to use or hear them.Please take the use of your whistleseriously. Our children’s lives depend onit.