Autism inclusion in sport and recreation

Autism inclusion in sport and recreation

What is a 'pilot workshop?'
This pilot workshop aimed to inform the design, delivery and content of an online module to support the inclusion of people with autism in a variety of sport and active recreation activities. The online module aims to support a diverse range of people with autism including those with co-existing conditions such as ADHD, ID, CP etc.

What was covered?
The workshop covers a short history of autism internationally, prevalence, gender ratios, the impact that people with autism and their families have had in history, and strategies for inclusion in sport and recreation.
Who attended and who will be interested?
The more diverse the audience the better the outcomes. The content presented will be beneficial to parents of children with autism, PE teachers and coaches.

This event asked attendees and online followers to contribute as well as live streamed on AAA Play Facebook
Answer 1 question, "what are the top 3 things you would like out of the workshop?"
This helped design the workshop in advance to meet needs. 
You may also like to review current autism and sport resources to share what aspects you like and what can be improved. You may like to review the resources available from,, and

Who presented?
Shawn Stevenson was the key presenter. Shawn has worked in the field of autism since 2003 and has a background in applied behaviour analysis and behaviour psychology. Shawn has worked across Canada, Bermuda, Bahrain, Thailand and Australia and has seen that sport and recreation is the tie that binds across cultures. Shawn has recently completed a Masters with Deakin University and the AFL to support participation of children who are developmentally vulnerable in NAB AFL Auskick. Shawn now oversees the delivery of 15 autism specific projects with 17 State Sporting Associations in Victoria.
Shawn sees participation in sport and recreation as an athlete, a spectator, a student or a paid employee as having strong biopsychosocial and economic benefits for everyone - not to mention sport and rec is just plain fun. Shawn will be joined by a variety of inclusion managers and game development officers who can provide sport specific information.

The Panel:
Robyn Goulding, Sunshine Special Development School. Robyn is a Health and Physical Education teacher who is passionate about teaching as well as developing a curriculum that supports the development of students with disability, including students with autism. Robyn, who is also a swim teacher has worked closely with multiple sports in the western suburbs including AFL Vic and Matt Smith.

Matt Smith, Game Development Officer, AFL Victoria. Matt will provide a footy perspective on key inclusion strategies gained through experience as a coach, Game Development Officer and Auskick Champion. Matt began coaching a mainstream U8 mixed team and is currently the coach of the The Melbourne University Women’s senior Reserves Team. Within Auskick and as Game Development Officer with AFL Vic Matt has delivered footy clinics and programs in mainstream and special development schools. In 2018 Matt was an Auskick Champion overseeing the implementation of Auskick 2.0 designed to get more parents involved while increase skill development for participants.

Sharon Wong, Project Development Coordinator at Football Victoria. Sharon has been working in the Community department focusing on creating programs that increase All Abilities and Multicultural participation. Sharon works with and supports various local councils and community groups and organisations such as Blind Sports Victoria, Victoria Electric Wheelchair Sports Association, SNAPP Sporting Network and A-League clubs to deliver football programs across Victoria. 

Any further questions? Please contact:
Shawn Stevenson
03 9096 9871

Autism inclusion in sport and recreation slides
Autism inclusion in sport workshop Facebook live part 1

Autism inclusion in sport workshop Facebook live part 2