Sports and Autism

Posted by Shannon on Apr 22nd 2024

APRIL 23, 2024

Sports and Autism

Discover sports activities that are beneficial and challenging for children with autism. Learn about the positive impact of sports on children with autism and find the right activities to engage them.

Kids playing basketball in gymnasium

Playing sports has always been a great way for children to get active. Children with autism are no different. Many parents of autistic children ask if their children can participate in sports despite their autism diagnosis. The simple answer is yes, but there are several factors to consider when choosing a sport for your child.

Kids playing soccer while outdoors

Team Sports

Many autistic children find team sports challenging. Sports that require significant body coordination are often difficult for autistic children as they often struggle with motor skills. Sports that include ball handling or coordinated foot work might be too much for some kids.

Team sports often require communication skills between teammates. Children with autism already struggle with social skills, which may lead to difficulty with critical communication with your childs teammates.

Many autistic children are also challenged with sensory sensitivity. This might be a struggle with some team sports, too. Squeaky shoes on a basketball court, sloshing through mud on a soccer field, or even cold temps early or late in the season for any outdoor sport, might be an unwanted distraction for children with autism.

Individual Team Sports

Autistic children tend to find a lot of success in individual team sports, where they can compete individually, but contribute to team success. Examples of these include swimming, track and field, golf, or martial arts.

These are all sports that allow children to develop skills at their own level. They dont require communication between teammates. Allowing children to contribute to a team without challenging aspects of true team sports can only help in their social development.

Maintaining Focus

One challenge that children with autism may experience is focus. Just like in the classroom, sports require children to focus on the task at hand and instructions from a coach. Many parents find that wearing a Compresso-T helps their children to maintain focus. Deep pressure input from the Compresso-T gives children the sensory input that they sometimes lack.

Thankfully, Compresso-T is lightweight and can easily be worn under uniforms or athletic gear. Eliminating distractions is another key element to kids with autism playing sports. Many parents find that SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Sensitivity Socks are a great alternative to athletic socks. The snug fit and seam free design keep feet more comfortable, especially in athletic shoes.

Child wearing SmartKnitKIDS Compresso-T under cardigan

Finding Success in Athletics

Success is defined differently for each child. It doesnt have to be winning first place or earning the most trophies or medals. Success might just be learning new skills, being part of a team, or simply just having fun. Most importantly, your child will get active, develop skills, and learn the value of competing.


Keep reading...

Pets for Kids with Autism

5 Tips for Helping Autistic Teens and Adults Manage Stress

© 2024 Knit-Rite, LLC

Therafirm®, Core-Spun by Therafirm®, Ease by Therafirm®, TheraSport by Therafirm®, Core-Sport by Therafirm®, Preggers® by Therafirm®, SmartKnit®, SmartKnitKIDS®, and Knit-Rite Direct® are all brands of Knit-Rite, LLC.

Proudly made in USA in Kansas City, KS and Hamlet, NC.


This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.