With the first month of 2022 complete, we’re excited to start February with the latest Spautism Global Spectrum, where we have brought together our favourite stories from January that involve autism and sport.
Toronto-based Paul Walderman has autism and produces content for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. In January, he used his platform to educate readers about his journey and advocate for more understanding about autism in society, while providing tips for people with autism who are looking for a career in sport.
Sport and songs
Judo Assist Ireland teamed up with singer and songwriter Jamie Lee Forde to write a song that would promote the importance of inclusive sport. The organisation is based in County Tipperary, Ireland, and supported children – many of whom had autism – in making a music video for the song, incorporating the use of sign language and judo skills.
While writer Joe Rosenbloom, who has autism and is from Illinois, USA, was feeling down after COVID-19 stopped many of his plans in 2021, his friend and trainer Phil Beans told Joe to think of 20 winning moments from the past year – such as making a friend or trying something new. Phil’s inspiration was that 20 wins in a college basketball season is a successful year, and when Joe took on that advice his outlook became much more positive.
Raising awareness on wheels
Emilie and Davy Sanchis are cycling around the world to raise awareness of autism and Down’s syndrome. After selling their house in the summer, the couple left France and have already toured eight countries. They recently reached Turkey, spending time in Silifke, a town in Mersin Province, to play table tennis and piano with children at an autism centre.
Students making a difference
This article reflects on a multi-sport workshop that was run by diploma students for children with autism in Singapore. The participants took part in badminton, basketball, darts, football, tennis, and volleyball to develop movement skills that are useful in sport and several other areas of life. The event organisers received lots of positive feedback on how they made it enjoyable for autistic people.