Redefining Success – Judo for the Developmentally Disabled
The Riverside Youth Judo Club has over 65 children, teenagers, and adults with developmental disabilities enrolled in the program. These developmental disabilities include Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Tuberous Sclerosis, Charge Syndrome, and Intellectual Disability. The vast majority of these students are mainstreamed into the typical classes. We have one special developing class that runs parallel to one of our mainstream classes that caters to some of our students with siginificant disabilities. Our goal for these individuals with siginificant disabilities is to also include them in our mainstream class when they are ready. We always maintain a mainstreaming rate of at least 80% for our developmentally disabled students – that is, at least 80% of our developmentally disabled students are participating in fully integrated Judo classes with typically-developing peers. Developmentally disabled judo students have been part of the Riverside Youth Judo Club since its inception in 2012. Our typically-developing students in the club treat our disabled students like any other student but are thoughtful and take care to accommodate their needs when necessary. Our Sensei’s rarely have to intercede or moderate interactions between our disabled and typical students because the newer students have learned from our older students how to accommodate some of our disabled students’ needs and to also push their potential by challenging them to become better Judoka.
– Pedro Villa, BCBA
Rolling Towards Change: Utilizing Judo and Community to Increase Promotive Factors
The Riverside Youth Judo Club (RYJC) is an established non-profit in the city of Riverside, California. Serving predominantly at-risk children, the Judo club seeks to create a community of support for some of the city’s neediest children. Risk factors – such as poverty – can affect a child’s development in a negative way, leading to poor executive functioning, a lack of self-regulation, and adverse social behavior with peers and at school. The theory of change described here takes the existing framework of the RYJC and adds another component, one-on-one mentorships. The goal of this intervention is to create peer-mentor relationships that increases the mentees self-efficacy, self-regulation skills, and helps increase promotive factors that result in positive developmental cascades.
– Aziz Ahmad Ahmadi, Harvard Graduate School of Education
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Impact of Judo on Behaviors and Social Skills of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by communication difficulty and social deficits. The current treatment employs the use of psychosocial therapy and medication as well as alternative treatments. This is a pilot study that assessed whether participation in judo improved behavior and social skills in children with ASD.
Twenty-four students from the Riverside Youth Judo Club were included in the study, after obtaining consent from their parents to participate. Inclusion criteria included participation in judo classes for more than one month and diagnosis of ASD and/or a developmental disability. Parent(s) of the children signed a consent form, filled out a study questionnaire and completed the Social Skills Improvement System Social-Emotional Learning Edition, Parent Form (SSIS-SEL). Parents also had the opportunity to volunteer their child’s baseline SSIS-SEL assessment. SSIS-SEL data was taken for four participants and compared to the baseline.
Read the full paper below: