Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M.): An Investigation of Recreational Sports Teams’ Coaches’ Knowledge of Best Practices for Working with Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Name: Abigail Johnson
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders and Education
Advisor: Donald M. Goldberg, Ph.D.

This study investigated community recreation sports teams’ coaches’ knowledge regarding working with adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). More specifically, this study investigated these coaches’ familiarity with ASD, any formal and informal training for working with these adolescents, and their perceptions of best practices when coaching athletes with ASD. Questions addressed coaches’ familiarity regarding ASD in a team sport setting. The quantitative research method was distributed via several local community recreational programs in Ohio. This study found that no overall significant difference was found regarding the hours of education regarding ASD and the overall confidence of coaching skills and strategies regarding individuals with ASD. Another major conclusion that can be drawn from this study was that over half of coaches reported “First-hand experiences” and/or “Trainings/Workshops or Professional/Scientific readings” as their source of information regarding ASD. Another conclusion, from this study, is that over three-quarters of the coaches reported that they were not aware of any players on their team that have been diagnosed with ASD. One implication of this study is the potential to help recreational sports team coaches understand the gaps in their training and knowledge regarding coaching adolescents with ASD. It is important that all coaches understand the spectrum of ASD, as well as knowing how to support adolescents using “best practices” in a coaching setting.

Key Words: autism spectrum disorder, recreational sports teams coaching, ASD intervention, coaching adolescent athletes

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Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022 on April 26, 2022.

13 responses to “Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M.): An Investigation of Recreational Sports Teams’ Coaches’ Knowledge of Best Practices for Working with Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder”

  1. Katlyn Yeager says:

    Proud of you!!

  2. Deanna Boyd says:

    Abby! This is fantastic! Nice job!!

  3. Bri Lowry says:

    This is super fascinating Abby! Proud of you!

  4. Jason Johnson says:

    Nice work! It was great to find out that over half the coaches had first hand experiences and/or training with ASD. Hopefully this leads toward more support from coaches in regards to individuals with ASD.

  5. Bill and Lynn Burkhardt says:

    Way to go, Abby! That is fantastic! You already know how proud we are of you!
    Love you,
    Mama & Papa

  6. Danielle Nasoff says:

    Congrats Abby!! You are so amazing! I am so proud of you!

  7. Hope Carmody says:

    Great work Abby!! So proud of ya!

  8. Rachel Semel says:

    Congrats Abby!

  9. Keli Burkhardt says:

    Congratulations Abby! So proud of you! Mom, Jay, Addy

  10. Akwia Tilton says:

    Congrats Abby! Proud of you and all the hard work you have done!

  11. Lucas Wafzig says:

    That’s my baby. I cannot be prouder.

  12. Lucas Wafzig says:

    That’s my baby. I cannot be prouder of her. I love you Pouty Baby.

  13. Lindsay Howell says:

    SO proud of you!! Hard work pays off! 🥳

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