from Steve Milligan, Lighthouse TOPSoccer, Philadelphia, PA
Autistic children can be very quiet and tend not to make eye contact. Set up a simple passing activity where they pass the ball to a coach/buddy and the coach/buddy passes it back to them to score a goal. To improve both communication and eye contact, really work to have the player make eye contact with the coach/buddy and say their name before they pass the ball. Over the course of a few weeks, even the quietest players know they have to do both or they will not receive a return pass to score. This is a very effective exercise.
When dribbling around cones, many players lose their concentration and focus on the ball and not the activity. Have them hold a hoop around their body or hold anything else while they are dribbling. Their focus turns to the object they are holding and the dribbling of the ball occurs much more naturally. We do relay races like this and the players sometimes finish quicker than when just dribbling the ball by itself. They also enjoy it very much.
Below are several PowerPoint presentations and documents designed to assist you in learning more about TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program of Soccer) designed by US Youth Soccer. To review a presentation, simply click the corresponding link below to download the presentation. For more information regarding TOPSoccer please contact Meridith Crowell.
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Manual 2016