Autism Organization Provides Therapeutic Tennis Instruction, Now Available Online
Love Serving Autism, a Florida-based organization providing therapeutic tennis instruction to children and adults with autism, has transitioned to an online platform due to the Coronavirus pandemic. According to a report this month by Palm Beach Post.com, the organization began holding weekly sessions via Zoom in April. Dozens of students have participated in the classes, which have been modified for home instruction.
Lisa Pugliese, Love Serving Autism’s founder and a certified tennis professional and speech therapist, said she was surprised by how many children signed up for the online classes.
“We had 40 families sign up for the April class,” Pugliese was quoted as saying. “It’s been relatively popular.” Pugliese explained that the 45-minute classes emphasize fine and gross motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination.
“We teach social skills and language skills by working on character development,” she said. We try to engage them on a social level. What we teach in tennis, our goal is to generalize those skills into the school environment, and the home and community setting.”
Palm Beach Post’s report highlighted David Schneider, a 22-year-old Palm Beach resident whose mother, Denise Schneider, said the courses have helped him develop skills like teamwork, sportsmanship, and cooperation.
“He enjoys connecting with his friends, and gets a great workout with the physical activities and exercises demonstrated in the classes,” Denise said. “Lisa [Pugliese] has invited friends and colleagues to teach the class, so the participants are exposed to a variety of philosophies and approaches to training.”
As Pugliese puts it, virtual tennis “will kind of be like that safe place for families to log in and do tennis from home, which I think will be great for them.”