Ping pong for autism

Autism is a manageable disease with the right intervention. Autistic children from the onset of diagnosis are exposed to activities which allow the physical body and the mind to stay active. Playing outdoors ping pong table with the right butt allows autistic children to develop social skill milestones in a nearly normal manner.

Special education specialists use table tennis as a social skill builder. They make the children with various disabilities especially the developmental challenges in recognition of the good and bad as a way of building their self-esteem. Even in any normal child, a praise of work well done motivates you to do better and allows you to recognize your potential in the game.

Despite the developmental milestones, you realize their rational thinking is even beyond any normal child hence allows them to have a better grasp of ping pong game.

Ping pong in itself is a mental game, it allows you to use logic and reasoning in the game. For people with autism, it ignites and stimulates the brain cells to think faster at the same time the movement compliments the lazy nature of people with autism.

The incorporation to the game as spectators, on the other hand, gives them a thought of movement. As they follow the movement of the ball and look at the players’ counterattacks to prevent the ball from landing in the wrong places gives them an active mind stimulating the inactive brain cells to strive to be active hence the developmental milestones in managing the disease.

What of allowing them to play with the normal children, due to their high IQ, they will secure some wins making them have a positive thought. “Despite the disability, I can manage the game like the normal children.” This is in itself a milestone in the management of autism, they will then to try new thing in a bid to get the same effect, in the long run, they become active hence improving their quality of life.

What is the significance of ping pong in autism?

Remember, autism brings poor coordination the limbs- legs, hands- and the rest of the body. Ping pong is a physically intensive sport which requires proper eye coordination and body movement at the same time. Continuous engagement of the game for the autistic individual helps in managing the physical challenge, in fact, if it is mild, then over time it will take you to recognize the difference between a normal person and them.

The uptake of the skills take time, but the simple grasp of the butt and hitting and ball response in whichever direction is essential for they get to understand the concept and involve mental acuity to ensure they sharpen the skills to near better level.

That simple discovery has a positive effect on the social and emotional wellbeing. Although they take the time to master the concept but once it sticks in the mind, you will be amazed by the results.

Despite the fact that ping pong it is a conventional treatment of autism, never forget the fun, laughter, and humor it brings to them allowing them to have a good mood ideal in facing and handling life challenges.


Anna Kennedy

Anna Kennedy

Anna Kennedy

I am the mother of two young men, Patrick and Angelo, who are both affected by autism. In 1997, in response to the growing need for support for parents of children with autism I co-founded the registered charity Hillingdon Care and Support (HACS). Two years later in 1999 having been turned away by no fewer than 26 special needs schools when searching for appropriate educational facilities for my sons we transformed a derelict council building in Middlesex, West London into Hillingdon Manor School. The school, which is now a centre of excellence, has earned considerable recognition for its outstanding work, and caught the imagination of Esther Rantzen who is now its patron.

In 2008 I co-authored the best selling biography “Not Stupid” which poignantly portrays my struggle to find appropriate provision for my sons – a story which will be familiar to many parents who feel they could not get what they felt their children needed from the local education authority.

My story appeared as an hour long BBC ’pick of the day’ Video Diary documentary and my story has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Times Educational Supplement, The Times, The Observer, The Guardian, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail.

I am regularly invited to speak at conferences on living and working with Autism and I have also taken part in numerous TV talk shows and news programmes.

In 2009 I  won ‘Woman of the Year’ an award run in conjunction with the Observer and Smooth Radio and I have recently been awarded The Chairmans Award for last year’s prestigious ‘Director of the Year’ award.

I’ve also received the Daily Mail’s Most Inspirational Woman Award through which I met Samantha Cameron in 10 Downing Street to discuss my work. I am currently involved in many campaigns with Act Now, Anti Bullying Campaign and Strength in Numbers.