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Sensory-friendly sports featured at Autism Sports Academy in Detroit

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Posted at 5:54 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 06:03:13-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Centria Autism and the Detroit Police Athletic League are teaming up for the third annual Autism Sports Academy.

According to a release, the primary purpose of the camp is to help children with ASD develop social skills in a group setting.

"Research shows that playing sports can significantly help kids with ASD improve motor skills and social functioning," said Dr. Sarah Dunkel-Jackson, Director of Clinical Learning and Development for Centria Autism Services, in a release. "In the end though, they're just kids who want to play and have fun with friends. No organization understands that better than the amazing folks at PAL. We're really excited to have them as partners for this program."

On July 29, Dr. Dunkel-Jackson will lead a training session for volunteers. The session is called Supporting Events for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and will address things to remember when volunteering with children with ASD.

"There's a saying in the autism community that when you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism. Children with ASD are incredibly unique, reflecting a wide spectrum," said Dr. Dunkel-Jackson. "Our training session will give volunteers information that's helpful when working with children with ASD."

Activities will include sports stations to teach basics of soccer, football, kickball, tee ball and more. Other activities include a bounce house, face painting, snacks, a quiet area with games and activities, a family resources and information table and much more.

The academy will be held on Aug. 9 at the Detroit PAL offices at the Corner Ballpark.

Reservations for the free event can be made here.