Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Children with autism spectrum disorders in HCM City and neighbouring provinces competed against each other in running and swimming races, tug of war, and other sports at an event held on Saturday in the city by the Việt Nam Autism Network and the city Department of Culture and Sports.
Participation in physical activities is not easy for such children because of their conditions.
Many received assistance from their parents and volunteers to help take part in the competition.
Phạm Thị Kim Tâm, deputy chairwoman of the Việt Nam Autism Network, said the programme, Day for Angels, was held to create a playground for autistic children to play with each other.
They gained confidence and interacted with people through the programme, she said, adding it also aimed to improve public awareness of the condition.
Nguyễn Thanh Tâm, director of the city’s Integrated Education Support Centre for Children with Disabilities, said when public awareness improved, more programmes could be organised for children with autism to have a good time and socialise.
The programme gave parents of children with autism a chance to meet each other and share experiences in supporting them.
Trần Quốc Bửu of Đồng Nai Province brought his six-year-old son to the event, saying he wanted to help improve his social interaction.
Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer and Michael Rosanoff, assistant director of research and public health of Autism Speaks in the US, said on their website that sports and physical activities improve fitness, motor function and behaviours in individuals with autism.
The social implications of participating in sports and exercise are important advantages, they said, adding that physical activity can promote self-esteem, increase general levels of happiness, and can lead to positive social outcomes, all highly beneficial for individuals with autism. — VNS