Top 5 autism tips for professionals: engaging autistic people in sport

In this article, Amy Webster of Active for Autism discusses sport and team games and how to involve autistic people. 

Download a PDF version of this article

Engaging people with autism in sport and team games

This information is for professionals involved in delivering sport or physical activity, such as:

  • Sport/physical activity coaches
  • Managers
  • Volunteers
  • PE teachers

Top 5 tips:

  1. Try to make your communication clear, concise and direct. People on the autism spectrum communicate in different ways and many find eye contact difficult.
  2. Try to reduce distractions and adopt a low arousal environment to reduce anxiety and aid concentration. Examples of low arousal approaches may include; only getting out the equipment that will be used to reduce clutter and distractions, or ensuring that you aren’t setting up your session in close proximity to other groups so that noise and disruptions are kept to a minimum.
  3. Be vigilant in checking for injuries as autistic people may carry on participating, unaware that they have sustained an injury.
  4. Try to accompany verbal instructions with a demonstration.
  5. Don’t assume that all people on the autism spectrum dislike team games. For some people on the autism spectrum team games may be daunting but this does not always stop people from participating and it does not apply to everyone.

Written by the Active for Autism team in partnership with the Ask autism team, these top tips offer a brief insight into what to expect from the Active for autism training.

For information about their NEW training courses on autism and sport and details of the Active for Autism project visit:

You can find out more about engaging people with autism in a new video by the Active for autism team.


Author: Amy Webster

Published: 15 September 2014


Amy Webster

Thu, 02/10/2014 - 09:00

The Active for autism project is well underway with the first pilot session having taken place at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes. The response from coaches so far has been extremely encouraging and e would like thank Sand Kurek at England Badminton for helping to arrange these first sessions. The training is now on sale and we will begin delivering from January 2015. Interested parties can visit or alternatively contact the project coordinator on


Amy Webster

Project Coordinator