Gentle East Martial Arts in Midlothian, Virginia is proud to announce that we have added Spectrum Skillz to our class offerings! This program was designed to target children ages 7 and up who are on the autism spectrum. The program introduces specialized skill-based training for children who have limited physical, intellectual, social, and emotional abilities. With that said, more emphasis is placed on building fundamental skills training with a strategic balance of Martial Arts.
By understanding the needs of these children, we have selected 8 skills that make up the Spectrum SKILLZ Program. The third skill we cover is Observing. Observing is a skill that kids on the spectrum struggle with. If you’ve ever worked with someone on the autism spectrum, then you understand exactly what I mean, because you can see them constantly looking around even though they’re supposed to be watching you.
So, it’s our job in this program to help them learn how to observe the things in their actions that they should or shouldn’t be doing. We break observation down into four main parts
- Observing Our Partners – When we do this we’re going to be having them working with another individual, it can be a teammate even an instructor, and having them do things with that partner while staying focused on that partner so that way they can pick up the things that both the student and their partner may be doing right and the things that they could be doing wrong.
- Observing Basics – This is something that Spectrum Skillz kids get to do with an instructor. The student’s goal will be to get to identify different basic techniques that are being demonstrated. This is going to help build the student’s active memory because they’re going to start seeing things going on, and challenging their brain to help them remember exactly what the move is called. This may be difficult at first with all the different moves that they have to remember, being able to tell which one is which and being able to observe it in order to name it.
- Observing in Groups – Group observation is one of the biggest challenges for this skill because now we’re asking them to take their eyes and instead of just watching one person like in a one-to-one partnership, we want them to be able to watch multiple people at a time. This is so that they can start to see the differences and the similarities that can be shared between others. This is going to be a challenge for them, but also it’s going to help them boost their observation skills
- Self Observation – This one is going to be an enjoyable one because this is going to be where they’re going to get to demonstrate moves themselves and be able to detail the things that they think that they’re doing well or enhance the things that they think they may have missed.
When we help the kids put all of these techniques together, they’re going to start to take their focus up to the highest level possible. With our spectrum kids, it’s our goal to keep setting them up for success during class, but it’s also our job to maintain a high energy and fun format so that they’re excited and they want to stay focused.
Ready to get started? Click here to book your child’s free 1-on-1 session with one of our instructors.