This is an excerpt from Active Games for Children on the Autism Spectrum by Erin Bennett & Mary Dyck.
Participants move, control, and hit an object within a specified space. Participants try to make it difficult for opponents to send the object back to the wall or return it across the net. Lesson plans for badminton and volleyball are provided, with bonus games for each.
Skills needed: Grip, stance, swing, and footwork
FMS: Coordination and striking
Badminton Lesson 1
TGfU: Net or wall
Skills: Grip and swing
Warm-up: Each student is given a racquet. Place the racquet in the dominant hand and have the students walk around “shaking hands” with the racquets with other students. This will reinforce the proper holding grip for the students.
Skill 1: Give each student a balloon and have them try to keep the balloon up in the air for as long as possible.
Individual or small game: Participants are divided into pairs or groups of three and are given one balloon per group. The goal for the pair or group is to keep the balloon up in the air for as long as they can, keeping it up off the ground. Each hit of the balloon is counted, and participants keep counting until the balloon is dropped. Pairs or groups can try to beat their score (how many times they would touch the balloon and keep it off the ground).
Skill 2: Tie the balloon or shuttlecock to a hockey stick or broom. This will allow the students to hit the object more effectively in order to get more practice in. This can be done individually or in pairs.
Inclusive game: Practice throwing a balloon or ball back and forth over a net with two students per side. This lets the students practice moving on a court and getting into position to catch and retrieve the ball.
A: Use a racquet or object that is appropriate for the student to hold onto. Use nothing if that is easier for the child to use their hand to hit the balloon. Participants are allowed to catch balloons in between throws if too difficult. If this is too easy, use one hand to keep the balloon up.
D: Should the racquet be too heavy, cut a pool noodle into thirds and give the student a piece to hit the balloon. A Ping-Pong racquet will also be easier to connect with the balloon as the distance is shorter from hand to contact point.
A: Needs a space with higher ceilings and not outside due to wind.
P: Can be a fully adapted lesson because you ensure that each side has the same number of skill sets. Using different equipment can help include everyone.
T: Decrease the space and make more groups so students have more opportunity to hit.
Cool-down: Pass the balloon or ball in a circle working on having quick hands and reactions.
Evaluation: Safe? Engaged? Success? Skill development? How easy is it to hit the balloon? Would a shuttlecock be more appropriate?