What can be said about baseball? It’s America’s favorite pastime, a simplistic sport on the field with plenty of statistics to break the simplicity and most important, a great game and event for the entire family. I’m sure most of us have played a game of baseball, or at the very least own a baseball glove. Of all the sports children can play, I believe baseball is the best sport for a child with autism to get into. If you have a son or daughter with autism, I highly encourage you to get them to play baseball, or at the very least, get them into the sport. There are benefits for the individuals who play and follow the game. The benefits can range from physical rewards to positive social integration. Here are just a few benefits.
1. Baseball allows communication between peers to occur
As many of us know, socialization can be tough for individuals on the autism spectrum. Baseball is a game that plays at a pace where there can be opportunities for quality communication between teammates. Whether they’re on the bench or practicing for a game, baseball allows people to interact in a rather calm environment compared to other sports. The conversations aren’t just limited to the game itself – the conversations can be about anything. Baseball is probably the best sport for children to communicate with one another. For parents, a simple game of catch outside the house can bring you and your child closer together, while having fun in a safe location.
2. Baseball can develop responsibility
One thing I’m sure everyone would like people with autism to do, besides be happy, is to develop responsibility. With many different positions in baseball, people can learn about specific roles on the field and learn how to be responsible in that role. For example, I was a second-baseman for most of my baseball career. I had to learn about the position, from strafing to get to a grounder, to being prepared for a runner stealing for second. What I learned in baseball allowed me to understand how to carry myself in games and follow tasks and react to certain scenarios.
3. Baseball is a sport that can be turned into an interest or hobby with ease
To be honest, my favorite sport is ice hockey, but out of the four major sports in North America, it’s probably the hardest to follow. Baseball I believe is an easy sport to follow. People with autism tend to have specific interests and hobbies. With all the objective and analytical data involved with baseball, I would believe many people with autism could be easily hooked onto baseball. Even without delving into advanced statistics, people can get into the sport. In addition, they can become attached to certain players and develop an affinity for a player.
Baseball can also promote physical fitness and health, serve as a gateway between home and the community and much more. With the Tigers season under way and the weather warming up, I strongly encourage you to get your children involved in such a great sport. There are plenty of leagues throughout the community that are inclusive and welcoming. There’s a lot to say about baseball, but the one thing most people will initially say about baseball is how they played the game, follow the game and love it.