How to help calm an autistic person? BOXING

Today I talked to one mother who was glad that the child was trying to fit in and be “like everyone” all day and every day. He tries really hard every time he leaves the house: in a shop, at school, in afterschool clubs – all public places. As soon as he returns home, the real hell begins: he screams, beats everyone and anything that gets in his way. I am standing and thinking: I feel sorry for his mother, sister, his toys, the chairs, the dishes… But what is he supposed to do? Where is he supposed to put the energy and the emotions that built up during the day? He is only seven years old! He tries to be a “good boy” all day, and everything builds up until the child finally “explodes”.

Suddenly I came up with the idea – ​​a punching bag! Again, I am standing and thinking that I have not seen it in any home or in any therapy room. Occupational therapy or physiotherapy rooms are packed with a variety of and expensive tools: rugs, cribs, balls, rocking chairs, equipment to improve motor and sensory skills. And why haven’t I seen a punching bag anywhere? In my understanding this would be a very safe way of releasing the emotions that have accumulated. After all, our children very often suffer from the inability to let the emotions go. It would be not such a bad idea for us – parents – to have it at home. I am sure we would find such a thing useful for us too… 

I decided to check if there was any information about boxing and autism. I found some information about the benefits of boxing. There is and interesting fact that according to the psychologists, boxing is healthy not only for the mind but also for the emotional and mental health. It turns out that boxing:

  • Reduces anger. It is said that all negative thoughts disappear during boxing sessions: there is complete peace of mind and you feel nothing but a huge relief. I am convinced that this is a great solution for children who really suffer from anger and meltdowns often enough.
  • Motivates to achieve goals and teaches determination because determination and motivation help to achieve the goals, especially when the person lacks motivation. Well speaking of my child …he really often lacks motivation …
  • Reduces stress. Probably many parents will agree with me that stress is a daily struggle to autism. Psychological research has revealed that a person who regularly attends boxing training is happier. They learn to enjoy even the small details they may not have paid attention to before.
  • Strengthens self-confidence. Probably the hardest, most painful, and something that parents can not always control is bullying. No matter how we like it or not, we will not be able to protect our children at all times. Children on the autism spectrum disorder simply do not know how to lie. Unfortunately, their unspeakable naivete often leads to bullying. Boxing training could be a great solution, trying to teach our little ones to gain more self-confidence and prevent them from being bullied.

There was an article that describes how boxing changed the life of an eight-year-old autistic boy in England. Parents were delighted that after few weeks of training the boy’s social skills had improved dramatically! He had made some friends. He did not spend all day watching the same shows or movies on TV. He had the courage and motivation to get out of the house, move and release emotions on a punching bag. Both parents and the coach were over the moon! The results exceeded their expectations: the boy was not only physically stronger but the training also had a positive effect on his body balance and concentration.

There are many boxing clubs in America encouraging kids with autism spectrum disorder to join. All of them are highlighting many positive benefits of the sport when presenting their programs:

  • gives you confidence;
  • distracts from televisions, computers and phones;
  • children have the chance to physically unwind;
  • improves sleep quality;
  • helps children concentrate;
  • improves reaction and memory;
  • improves their communication skills.

I wondered how much punching bags cost and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are for sale for a very affordable price . They are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors… And what about boxing gloves! I will have to tell my friend about this discovery!

If you have boxing club near your home, do not be afraid to go and ask if your child could give it a try too… I have a feeling that you will be pleasantly surprised If this idea will help your boy or girl in any way, share your success story with us! Just email us to info@feelautism.com