TaeKwon Do K.I.C.K.S.
For More Information including current schedule and set up free introductory class, please Call 802-377-0476 or Email tkdkicks101@yahoo.com
TaeKwon Do for Adaptive/Special Needs Students
The Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids Who Learn and Think Differently: by Keri Wilmot is an occupational therapist who works with children of varying ages and abilities in all areas of pediatrics.  

There are lots of reasons martial arts might be a good match for kids who learn and think differently. Here are nine benefits.

They focus on individual growth, not on team competition. Many kids struggle with the pressure of competing with other kids. But in martial arts, the focus is on self-improvement. There’s no “letting down the team.”

They work toward specific goals. Some kids who learn and think differently feel like they never “win” at anything. In martial arts, kids work at their own pace. They earn a different colored belt every time they reach a new skill level. This can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.

Routines are broken down into chunks. A technique or form in martial arts can have dozens of different movements. But kids learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go. They learn to anticipate which step comes next. And eventually, they put everything together into fluid movements.

They emphasize self-control and concentration. Attention is central to martial arts. Kids have to stay focused to learn and to do the movements. When a child’s focus drifts, instructors often ask them to take the “ready stance.” This lets them reset and get ready for what’s next.

They help with coordination. Doing martial arts movements can help kids get a better feel for their body in space. This is good for kids who struggle with motor skills. It also helps kids understand the power of the mind over the body.

They provide structure. Good martial arts instructors have clear rules and constantly reinforce them. They also emphasize good behavior in and out of class. Some even send kids home with behavior charts for parents and caregivers to sign.

They’re a safe way for kids to get out extra energy. It’s a myth that martial arts encourage violent behavior. In fact, instructors often say that fighting is a last resort. At the same time, kicking and karate chopping let kids work out frustration or anger while practicing self-control.

It’s an accepting environment. Respect is a core value in martial arts. Kids have to show it for their instructor and their peers. Negativity is generally not tolerated in class, and students are encouraged to support each other.

They’re cool. Kids who learn and think differently sometimes feel awkward or out of the loop. But lots of kids think martial arts are cool. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re wearing martial arts gear and breaking boards in half.

"There’s also some data that suggests that the combination of physical and mental in martial arts may even help persons with autism spectrum disorder improve their balance and communication."

John Whyte, MD, MPH, a board-certified internist and the Chief Medical Officer at WebMD
I personally believe the martial arts has a lot to offer all students regardless of age and/or ability.  I work with several Adaptive/Special Needs students in my regular Family Classes.  I work to adjust the techniques and/or exercises when needed and provide a very safe and supported environment.  I have experience working with students with autism, septo-optic hypoplasia (S.O.H.), down syndrome, ADHD, torticollis, strabismus, and aspergers 
TKD helped our disabled son in so many ways. First, he gained core strength, arms & legs. Secondly, he gained confidence to try new things because of Master Thomas, she pushed just enough to keep him motivated without overtaxing his special needs. Because of Master Thomas & TKD we watched our son who uses a walker, walk independently across the studio. - Walter
My son is a student of Master Thomas’ and is currently working toward his red belt. Ian is 18 years old, has been diagnosed with ADHD as well as Autism, and has several learning disabilities which produces many educational challenges and social obstacles that he and others must contend with on a daily basis. . When my son began Tae Kwon Do and had to learn his first pattern he was overwhelmed, had many meltdowns, doubted his ability to learn the pattern, and had no faith in himself that he could do it. When he did accomplish this task and was then asked to remember and perform another pattern, again meltdowns ensued. Through Master Thomas’ continued guidance, encouragement, and high expectations for him he is now proficient in 13 patterns and is now a 2nd degree black beltt and assistant instructor. - Katree

I am appreciated for who I am and encouraged to become a stronger, more confident version of myself! -Michael student with S.O.H.

As a parent I appreciate the welcoming community of all ages and abilities supporting each other throughout the year. – Michael’s mom Liz