This new book offers a start to finish guide for potential autistic students, their parents and for teachers who are or want to teach students with autism. The book is not about autism theory per se, but is a practical guide aimed at young autistic individuals who want to take up a martial art, but need to know more. It is distinctive in that it also offers parent advice, and has a section specifically for martial arts teachers who are either new to teaching autistic students or would like to expand their knowledge and skills. Author of Autism and Martial Arts: A Guide for Children, Parents and Teachers, is Dr Sandra Beale-Ellis, a 6th Dan in Karate with over twenty years experience of teaching students with and without special needs; fourteen of those specialising in autism. What makes her knowledge unique is that she has been clinically diagnosed with Asperger s Syndrome (a form of autism) and the book comes from both personal experience as a teacher and as a student. It is also based on her doctoral research completed late in 2013; this explored the learning experiences within sport and physical activities including martial arts, of a wide range of autistic individuals. Sandra's Doctorate in Education (Autism) was gained from Sheffield Hallam University where there is a specialist nationally respected Autism Unit. During her study Sandra visited various martial arts clubs to work with their students and conduct her research. Sandra is keen to enable more martial arts clubs to be inclusive across the UK. Autistic students can benefit from the structure and discipline martial arts clubs offer, but it is essential that teachers know what to expect from their students, so that they can plan their classes to suit everyone while knowing how to accommodate any differences. Her experience shows the students want to be taught but parents need to have confidence that a martial art teacher has some knowledge which will help their child. Within her role as Director of a national martial arts governing body Sandra has spoken to many individuals who are interested in expanding their student base to be more inclusive but simply don't know how.
Published by NAKMAS Publishing
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