“Break It Down” Total Sports, which launched in June in Hermosa Beach, is gearing up for its second session of sports for young athletes with special needs. The program has a mission to teach children with special needs sports skills in a positive environment and to develop their motivation to participate using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) teaching strategies. The fall session, which begins Sept. 6, will focus on soccer.
Co-founders Stephanie Dale and Alyne Kassardjian are both trained in ABA and committed to extending its benefits beyond school and home. “We’ve spent years practicing ABA-based therapies in schools, at private homes and at our respective offices, but what rounds out the practice is for it to be applied to every part of the child’s life,” says Kassardjian. “Often times children with special needs are simply not exposed to the extracurricular experiences that typically developing children are. It’s not necessarily a lack of athletic skill or desire that prohibits these children from involvement in such activities, but the lack of resources available to teach them effectively.”
“Sports as a medium in general, practices many of the ABA principles innately, but we haven’t found a trained organization that is specifically dedicated to the application within these sports activities,” adds Dale.
Each eight-week session is dedicated to a different sport, and participants meet for two hours each Saturday. Each day will begin with a 15-minute minute warm up, an explanation of rules and terminology, skill-building and sports knowledge and finally, a scrimmage. Structure is always fluid based on individual needs. Future session will cover basketball and baseball. Cost is $350 per child per session.
Break It Down Total Sports is located at Valley Park, 2521 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach. Learn more at www.breakitdowntotalsports.com, or by calling 310-869-7833.