Spectrum Skillz – Skill 6: Retention. Tips from Gentle East Martial Arts for Parents with Children on the Spectrum
Gentle East Martial arts of Midlothian, Virginia is proud to announce that we added Spectrum Skillz to our class offerings! This program was designed to target children ages 7 and up who are on the autism spectrum. The program introduces specialized skill-based training for children who have limited physical, intellectual, social, and emotional abilities. With that said, more emphasis is placed on building fundamental skills training with a strategic balance of Martial Arts.
By understanding the needs of these children, we have selected 8 skills that make up the Spectrum SKILLZ Program. The sixth skill we cover is Retention, which is being able to retain information within their own brain so they can pull it out and use it later. Kids on the autism spectrum sometimes struggle to retain information for a period of time. Our goal is to help boost them up and help get them better at retaining and accessing information.
We have broken Retention into four main categories:
- Long term retention – This is being able to take something that they learned in class, keep it in their brain for an extended period of time and then, when it’s necessary to use it, be able to quickly access and present the information.
- Short term retention – This is the exact opposite. It’s having to remember something that is less important for a short period of time, but still being able to quickly fire out the answer when you have a question asked of you. This can be challenging because sometimes seemingly less important information can be easily dismissed.
- Active retention – This skill helps them remember things as they’re actively going through motions. For example, going through different patterns like being able to do high block, punch, front kick, and being able to keep all those separate moves in their brain, but also executing them with correct technique and making them strong.
- Reactive retention – Reactive retention is the ability to use the things that we’ve already learned but being able to do them quickly. This helps build the relationship between basic techniques and self-defense training so that the students are still getting some actual martial arts out of this. This is where they’re actually going to get to utilize different self-defense moves to quickly escape. The goal, however, is for them to be able to quickly assess what the “attack” is, then relate what they know to the situation so they can choose the best technique to get away while keeping safety as a main priority.