How Ping! Helps People with Autism


South West Autism C.IC is a not for profit organisation, offering a wide range of bespoke services to families and professionals across the South West of the UK. With over 17 years experience of supporting young people within a range of settings including mainstream and special schools/colleges, own homes, residential trips and local communities, Active Devon worked with them to locate a Ping! table tennis table at their club.

Benefits of Ping! To people with autism

Last summer he wasn’t able to use the tables in the public places across Exeter due to high social anxiety. However, after gaining confidence using the table at our centre he was able this year to play his Dad on one of the Ping tables in the city.

  • Enabling
  • Life Skills
  • Social understanding
  • Independent Skills
  • Anxiety Management
  • Self Awareness
  • Mobile tutoring!
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication
  • Taking turns
  • Cooperation
  • Fine motor skills

Autism is a lifelong social disability often resulting in young people finding all social situations highly challenging. A normal activity like sitting down and having a conversation is extremely difficult. With ten young people regularly attending a SW Autism Group and over 30 casual users, South West Autism and Active Devon decided to put Ping! into the mix to see if table tennis could unlock new skills among the group.

How the Ping! Table is used

The table has been well used – even the parents have been known to have a sneaky game!

  • Group play on club nights.
  • 1:1 work with children and young people on the autistic spectrum.
  • Parents having the chance to share stories and experiences in an un-threatening environment.

Results

As Autism is a lifelong social disability our young people find ALL social situations challenging. They would find sitting down and having a conversation extremely difficult but they CAN talk if they are focusing on an activity such as table tennis.

  •  Conversation! – Table tennis switches off many of the self conscious parts of brain activity and allows more natural interactions with a playing partner.
  • A good feeling – as a “brain sport.” playing table tennis factivates different parts of the brain simultaneously and stimulates overall awareness
  • Social skills – Ping! taught the young people at the club how to take turns, follow rules

How Child A Benefitted

Ping! Exeter first launched in the summer of 2014. Table tennis tables were being enjoyed all over the city. Child A, a member of the SW Autism Group was desperate to play, but due to high levels of social anxiety, could not pick up a bat in public. However, after gaining confidence using the Ping! table at the centre he was able to play his Father on one of the Ping! Exeter city centre tables the following summer.

This was not only huge progress for him, but had clear rewards in terms of his interaction with his own family as well.

For more information about Ping! Exeter visit www.pingexeter.co.uk

For more information about South West Autism Support Services contact www.southwestautismsupportservices.co.uk