Martial arts have been shown to be very beneficial for kids. There are literally hundreds of studies demonstrating the positive benefits: confidence, fitness, coordination, resilience and more. But did you know it is also great for neurodiverse kids as well? Kids on the Autism spectrum, kids with ADHD, kids with SPD and more. The Beyond the Spectrum program is designed to provide physical, intellectual, emotional and social skills therapy for neurodiverse children, utilising interactive movement modalities (Martial Arts) as an engagement tool. The program introduces specialised skill-based training for children who have different physical, intellectual, social, and emotional abilities, with further consideration for sensory processing issues. With that said, more emphasis is placed on building fundamental skills training with a strategic balance of martial arts.
This is a pre-martial arts program designed to give kids with different abilities the background skills and understanding of the ‘hidden’ curriculum before graduating into the general classes; which program and the instructor student ratio for the individual class will be determined by a one-on-one pre-evaluation of the individual’s current capabilities and needs.
The pre-evaluation is not a test. It is not a pass/fail thing but it is a chance for everyone to meet, discuss your child’s needs, capabilities, likes and dislikes and to assess their current level of abilities relating to martial arts classes.
Once the one-on-one pre-evaluation is completed we will place the child in the most appropriate class for their current developmental phase – either one-on-one sessions, very small group classes Spectrum Skills (essentially pre-martial arts), and finally the regular group classes.
During each class we run a warm-up; deliver a mat chat about the skill; run two or three skill-building drills; and then we have them demonstrate the skill to earn their skill-stripe. They must earn all 8 skill-stripes in order to graduate to the next belt level. Once they earn their next belt they will continue to run through all 8 skills earning their skill-stripes with more challenging curriculum as they advance to each rank. They graduate into one of the age-specific martial arts programs after they have successfully completed all 9 belt ranks of the Beyond the Spectrum program.
The class instructor holds a Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies, is the author of the Autism & Martial Arts Instructor Course, and has taught many students on the spectrum over the past 35 years.
To maximise benefits participants will need to train at least twice a week. Class places are limited by instructor: student ratio’s (1:3) and places in the classes are allocated in advance.
Some people will find that the classes are eligible for NDIS for assistance to access community, social and recreational activities. A service agreement and invoices for this purpose can be provided upon request.