According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 68 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder, a developmental disability affecting social and communication skills. Utah ranks higher than the national average, with one in 54 kids having ASD.
Julia Connelly, PhD, a psychologist and the clinical director at University of Utah Health's Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic, explains the common symptoms of ASD:
- Difficulty in social situations
- Preoccupation with certain topics or subjects
- Sensory sensitivities, such as noise, light, clothing or food
- Communication difficulties, such as problems developing speech or understanding social language, difficulties with eye contact or use of gestures
"While it's important for kids to get 60 minutes of daily exercise, some team sports are challenging for those who have autism," says Connelly. Here are five of the best sports for kids with autism to try: