“An autistic child can also participate in sports and play in the regular provision”: Ellen wrote a book about her own experiences with ASD (Moerbeke-Waas)

“An autistic child can also participate in sports and play in the regular provision”: Ellen wrote a book about her own experiences with ASD (Moerbeke-Waas)
“An autistic child can also participate in sports and play in the regular provision”: Ellen wrote a book about her own experiences with ASD (Moerbeke-Waas)
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Ellen De Stoop. — © Silvie Bonne.

Moerbeke-Waas

On the occasion of World Autism Day, which is on the calendar annually on April 2, former basketball professional Ellen De Stoop is launching a book and crowdfunding to stimulate autism-friendly sports clubs. “Everyone should have the opportunity to play sports and play in the regular offer,” she says.

De Stoop, who lives with her family on the border of Moerbeke-Waas and Wachtebeke, noticed that supervisors in sports clubs often have insufficient knowledge about young people with autism. “I want to do something about that,” she says. “Everyone should have the opportunity to play sports and play in the regular program.”

READ ALSO. From ADHD to autism, never before have so many young people been given a ‘label’ and that has major consequences: “The system is about to burst”

When Ellen De Stoop’s son wanted to play basketball, her heart overflowed with pride. She has had a twenty-year basketball career at large and smaller clubs and the sport has given her many great moments. She also wished her son that enjoyment of playing and that passion for the sport. But his first training sessions at the local basketball club did not go smoothly. Ellen De Stoop: “Mika was diagnosed with autism during the summer holidays before he started primary education. In the basketball club he got stuck because of the many stimuli, the unpredictability, the impatience of the coaches and the large group. He lost his self-confidence and noticed that ‘being different’ was not understood by everyone.”

Crowdfunding

Ultimately, Ellen took him away from the club. To this day, Mika is now 13 years old, the search for a suitable sport and leisure activity is a major challenge. That experience motivated Ellen to work for more autism-friendly clubs. She completed a postgraduate degree in ‘Autism’ at the Artevelde University of Applied Sciences in Ghent and as her final project developed a toolkit for coaches and supervisors in sports and leisure clubs. With its project BB-Aut, clubs are guided in the formation of an autism-friendly policy. She also assists coaches and monitors to offer inclusive training and camps.

READ ALSO. Number of conversations on Autism Chat has tripled: “Strong instrument”

This spring, the woman bundles all her knowledge in an accessible and practical book ‘Inclusive sports with autism: practical tips for coaches and supervisors’. “No better time than World Autism Day to launch the crowdfunding campaign for the book and toolkit,” said Ellen. “The campaign runs via the Ulele platform and various packages are available.” Anyone who donates 15 euros will receive a pin. You can buy the book for 25 euros. For 60 euros you will receive five emotion meters. These are tools that coaches can use when guiding children with autism. Sports clubs that fund 275 euros will receive the complete toolkit including the book. Associations and clubs can also engage Ellen for lectures on the theme.

More information via [email protected] or at www.bb-aut.be.

READ ALSO. Donald was the very first to be diagnosed with autism: “But let his life be an important lesson”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: autistic child participate sports play regular provision Ellen wrote book experiences ASD MoerbekeWaas

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