Athletics are a major proponent of children’s overall development, including their self-confidence. Sadly, children with special needs are often left out of community sports programs because they don’t fit the typical mold, or rather, the programs don’t seem to fit them.
The problem is that these children need sports just as much as any other kid, and probably more! The benefits of sports on children are clear, but so many of these kids don’t have a real opportunity because of their challenges. Some are offered adaptive PE in school or Special Olympics in the community, but this is far from the experience of the average kid with special needs. Most don’t end up playing sports at all.
Searching for Something New
E-Karate is an incredible program. Dr. Ebesegawa, adjunct professor and specialist in early childhood development and education, heard about what E-Karate is doing by combining inclusion with physical fitness, and she was so inspired that she brought out Dr. Wensley, a child psychologist, and Ms. Murphy-Simms, a physical therapist, to join her in studying E-Karate’s model.
They observed changes in E-Karate children’s social-emotional development, motor development, and attention skills. Their results were astounding. They ran a formal analysis and found that 95% of the children showed statistically significant progress in their development as reported on one or more of the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC-2) rating scales. Seven of the eight children without special needs showed significant progress on one or more BASC reporting scales. The correlation between E-Karate and positive development was very encouraging to see.
A Clear Winner
A young boy with an Autism Spectrum Disorder told us that he had more friends because he had learned to be respectful of others from his E-Karate class.
We are excited about spreading the message of inclusion through E-Karate throughout our community. So bring out your child next Saturday! Whether he has special needs or not, he will come out a winner either way!
Access the full paper published in peer reviewed journal, The International Journal of the Humanities, for further reading.