Athletes with Autism is a non-profit 100% volunteer organization that develops supports and trains coaches and volunteers in community programs to support individuals with autism. AwA believes that sport is a fantastic medium to develop socialization skills and independence in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. AwA's training and research based supports have been developed to increase motor, social, and communication skills leading to increased confidence and competence so that the athlete can more completely participate in the community.
- Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder struggle with communication and socialization, leading to decreased access to the curriculum. Athletes with Autism will support community-based sports instruction through training and supports. The goal of the program is to support individuals with autism in accessing community programs and to develop socialization, independence, and physical skills to allow the student to access traditional sports instruction with age appropriate peers and thereby develop appropriate and lasting peer relationships, confidence, and competence to increase the student's independence and access to curriculum.
- Play and motor activity have been shown to increase brain activity for all learners. Children with Autism often benefit from movement to help regulate sensory challenges. Participation in sports programs will help prepare learners to receive instruction, increase personal confidence and competence, increase communication skills, and increase socialization skills.
- Coaches and Volunteers who have been trained using the Athletes with Autism curriculum will understand that every individual with Autism is unique and they will have multiple resources and strategies at their fingertips to adapt and modifiy instruction to allow success. They will be able to utilize the Athletes with Autism supports to facilitate maximum participation for each athlete.