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Thread: Kenpo for special needs kids

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    Default Kenpo for special needs kids

    Hey Folks! I'm sure some of the instructors on this forum have kids classes in their schools. What I'm interested in knowing is if any of you teach kenpo / MA to special needs kids. I'll use the term special needs to cover a broad range of cognitive. physical, and/or developmentally delayed children. I have a beautiful 4 yr old son who is mildly autistic and was born with mild, but noticeable impairments in muscle tone, coordination, and has overall motor planning issues. It's been quite a "journey" for my wife and I to learn how to raise our son with these challenges. I have a bit of EPAK in my background from way back, but I'm unsure if MA is the proper venue to help build his physical and emotional being.

    Thanks for your input!

    Sean

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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    Sean Sir,

    I too have a daughter that is Autistic. Because of the different levels that are in Autism it might work out for your son. My daughter's 9yrs, and shows interest in Kenpo. So she helps me with some things @ times and I show her what she needs to know @ her level. Although I don't have her in classes for certain reasons nor am I an instructor but i do feel that it's extremly important that special need children are taught some type of MA, based on their limitations. Set by the child ,not us as parents. I do feel that MA can help with his physical & emotional needs, based only upon his abilities. I too have had quite a "journey" and dont know your sons abilities/disabilities but as parents w/children who has special needs we need to have faith that anythings POSSIBLE. My advice would be go for it. There's many different types of MA out their, that i'm sure would work out for your son. Based upon what I know about Autism and different levels of abilities/disabilities, the first one that comes to my mind is TKD. No matter which one you decide to choose though, do it for a month and then reevaluate to see if your son has benifited from this type of MA. If not move on & find another one.
    As Parents w/ children who have special needs, try to be positive, look @ their ABILITIES & NOT their DIS-ABILITIES, they'll thank us for it in the long run.

    DEE


    "If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail."
    Everyday is at least a learning experience, you may not find all of the answers you seek,but you have learned something relevant. There is always SOMETHING that can add to the Wisdom of life.....

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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    Quote Originally Posted by seca2man View Post
    Hey Folks! I'm sure some of the instructors on this forum have kids classes in their schools. What I'm interested in knowing is if any of you teach kenpo / MA to special needs kids. I'll use the term special needs to cover a broad range of cognitive. physical, and/or developmentally delayed children. I have a beautiful 4 yr old son who is mildly autistic and was born with mild, but noticeable impairments in muscle tone, coordination, and has overall motor planning issues. It's been quite a "journey" for my wife and I to learn how to raise our son with these challenges. I have a bit of EPAK in my background from way back, but I'm unsure if MA is the proper venue to help build his physical and emotional being.

    Thanks for your input!

    Sean
    There is a woman that sticks her head in here from time to time that goes by the name of SheSulsa. She is on martial talk more often. She has an autistic son that is 18 or 20 now and recently she just opened up her own martial arts school where she primarily works with kids that have unique needs. Before she opened her school she assisted her old instructor with many of these kids...she is opening her school because her instructor is retiring.

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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    If it were my child, I would check out gymnastics places before martial arts places, especially with a 4 year old.

    Gymnastics would focus more on gross motor movements, at least at the lower levels. Many Kenpo techniques often require fine motor skills.

    In general, gymnastics has more conditioning than martial arts. Gymnastics also is quite good in training physical balance and flexibility (but many martial arts schools are also good for that)
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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    Quote Originally Posted by seca2man View Post
    Hey Folks! I'm sure some of the instructors on this forum have kids classes in their schools. What I'm interested in knowing is if any of you teach kenpo / MA to special needs kids. I'll use the term special needs to cover a broad range of cognitive. physical, and/or developmentally delayed children. I have a beautiful 4 yr old son who is mildly autistic and was born with mild, but noticeable impairments in muscle tone, coordination, and has overall motor planning issues. It's been quite a "journey" for my wife and I to learn how to raise our son with these challenges. I have a bit of EPAK in my background from way back, but I'm unsure if MA is the proper venue to help build his physical and emotional being.

    Thanks for your input!

    Sean
    I will say that in my years in teaching and in dealing with kids through sports and martial arts, I find that the best things to do is to enable them to pursue their ideas. If a child wants to learn martial arts, then supporting and encouraging that is the best we can do as parents, teachers and leaders. I would not necessarily encourage it at too young of an age, but I have always sought to teach anyone who was willing to learn, regardless of ability or disability.

    At 4 for a "normal" child, I would hesitate to enter into martial arts, but as the child grows, it can be a great thing. In any case, encouraging social interaction, confidence, physical skills, etc. can be very helpful with the right people.

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    Smile Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolindelt View Post
    I will say that in my years in teaching and in dealing with kids through sports and martial arts, I find that the best things to do is to enable them to pursue their ideas. If a child wants to learn martial arts, then supporting and encouraging that is the best we can do as parents, teachers and leaders. I would not necessarily encourage it at too young of an age, but I have always sought to teach anyone who was willing to learn, regardless of ability or disability.

    At 4 for a "normal" child, I would hesitate to enter into martial arts, but as the child grows, it can be a great thing. In any case, encouraging social interaction, confidence, physical skills, etc. can be very helpful with the right people.
    I would agree. I taught special education for 5 years with many autistic kids and my wife is a special education teacher currently with AI. With the definition of autism so broad these days noone can really say how your kid will do without checking him out. Although, 4 seems a little young. I tried my kid at 4 and we took a break until he was ready at 5. All you can really do is try him out and see what happens.

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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    Autisum is definately a one case at a time kinda thing. You just never know what their brain is processing and what it isn't. I have been raising an autistic child for the past four years, and some of the most basic things we tried so hard to teach him, weren't learned for quite a few years. We found out he actually had to let go of something previously learned in order to take in new information. He seemed to benefit from lots of extra tutoring in all areas of life. I see Kenpo's biggest benefit to learning self control. That of course is once again a one case at a time kind of thing. I have never met two autistic kids who were remotely alike. His balance and cordination were so off that we didn't think he would ever learn to ride a bike, but at 12 years old, he simply got on it and rode like he had been doing it all his life.
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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    There is no one better then the parent to teach their children any aspect of life. You know their needs and their abilties. Spend the time with them.
    What I don't suggest is keeping them isoliated from the public.

    The martial arts are demanding, so don't judge preformance based on the abilties of others. Reinforce all steps in a postive manner.

    You may want to consider Tia Chi
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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    Quote Originally Posted by dee View Post
    Sean Sir,

    I too have a daughter that is Autistic. Because of the different levels that are in Autism it might work out for your son. My daughter's 9yrs, and shows interest in Kenpo. So she helps me with some things @ times and I show her what she needs to know @ her level. Although I don't have her in classes for certain reasons nor am I an instructor but i do feel that it's extremly important that special need children are taught some type of MA, based on their limitations. Set by the child ,not us as parents. I do feel that MA can help with his physical & emotional needs, based only upon his abilities. I too have had quite a "journey" and dont know your sons abilities/disabilities but as parents w/children who has special needs we need to have faith that anythings POSSIBLE. My advice would be go for it. There's many different types of MA out their, that i'm sure would work out for your son. Based upon what I know about Autism and different levels of abilities/disabilities, the first one that comes to my mind is TKD. No matter which one you decide to choose though, do it for a month and then reevaluate to see if your son has benifited from this type of MA. If not move on & find another one.
    As Parents w/ children who have special needs, try to be positive, look @ their ABILITIES & NOT their DIS-ABILITIES, they'll thank us for it in the long run.

    DEE


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    Thank you for your transparent candor
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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    I have taught children with ADD, ADHD, Autism and Aspbergers and they all can benefit for training, just keep it light and learn to recognize when they have had enough. Once you know how to see when they have had all they can absorb at any time, make it fun for them, and reiterate the basics over and over but learn how to disguise those basics.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    I guess I'm back. LOL!

    I have a Grandson with Aspberger's and it is not easy to clinically sepaate him from the action, even for a Grandpa. He, so far has shown no inclination to martial arts, but is amazingly on the ball with "head stuff".

    I work as security at a mental hospital. The children are the bane of my existence. My mind and heart take at least one of them home every night. Some of them come to us so broken that it's pretty obvious that they will never be fixed. Kids with welts from belts and God knows what else, across their backs and their souls. A young mother so afraid that her step-father will take a ball bat to her when she gets home. I've approached some folks here about a Tai Chi class, or self defense basics, but I don't ever see them as too positive about it. The standard feeling, as I perceive it, is that if they are taught that sort of thing they might tned to misuse the training. And sooooo......

    I do want to thank everyone for posting with such candor here. I never cease to be amazed at the wealth of experience, the depth of knowledge, and the willingness of the fine folks here to share all of it.

    If all of this can help one kid not be a perennial misfit, or perhaps, find her/his true potential then I'm all for it.

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    Talking Re: Kenpo for special needs kids

    Quote Originally Posted by dee View Post
    Sean Sir,

    I too have a daughter that is Autistic. Because of the different levels that are in Autism it might work out for your son. My daughter's 9yrs, and shows interest in Kenpo. So she helps me with some things @ times and I show her what she needs to know @ her level. Although I don't have her in classes for certain reasons nor am I an instructor but i do feel that it's extremly important that special need children are taught some type of MA, based on their limitations. Set by the child ,not us as parents. I do feel that MA can help with his physical & emotional needs, based only upon his abilities. I too have had quite a "journey" and dont know your sons abilities/disabilities but as parents w/children who has special needs we need to have faith that anythings POSSIBLE. My advice would be go for it. There's many different types of MA out their, that i'm sure would work out for your son. Based upon what I know about Autism and different levels of abilities/disabilities, the first one that comes to my mind is TKD. No matter which one you decide to choose though, do it for a month and then reevaluate to see if your son has benifited from this type of MA. If not move on & find another one.
    As Parents w/ children who have special needs, try to be positive, look @ their ABILITIES & NOT their DIS-ABILITIES, they'll thank us for it in the long run.

    DEE


    "If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail."
    Thanks for everyone's feedback, I was surprised at how many people have experience dealing with kids on the spectrum. 4 years is probably a little young, but I'll keep my options open going forward. My wife and I are always looking for opportunities to increase his socialization, not to mention his gross and fine motor development.

    Respectfully

    Sean

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