Asperger Syndrome
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Football and Asperger

Hi everyone, i am the football coach of a 5 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome, although the process has been difficult at times over the last couple of years the progress he has made have given me some of my proudest moments as a coach, the next step for my team is to start playing small sided games againts other teams from our area, both his perants have told me that they dont think he would be able to cope with a match situation but i have told them that no matter what he will be treated the same as the other kids,even if he just comes to our training he will still get a team kit. Ive been reading bits but just wanted to find out if anyone else has a child that has played football and how you had delt with this, from the stuff i have read the possibilty of him playing in goal seem like it could be possible but dont no if is this me having a narrow minded veiw as im still trying to understand how asperger affects people. thanks in advance for any advice you can give me it will be greatly apreciated

8 Replies

My Foster son has Autism and is very, very keen on football and has been able to play well. A lad with Aspergers would probably be equally good. He would probably we very happy to follow all the rules but he may be more annoyed if other people try to break the rules, as he would probably be a stickler for rules and observing them correctly. He could make a very good ref and wouldn't let anyone get away with anything incorrect!


We will expect everyone to follow the same rules, may interrupt without realising and can be quite literal in our thinking. Also we can have set ways of doing something so hard to learn a task a different way.

Our senses can become overloaded causing anxiety due to the noise of the match. We can sense 'atmospheres' which causes difficulties with empathy.

We're vulnerable to teasing and bullying by others.

Is there another child whose playing that could be buddied up with the lad to 'show him the ropes' of the match? Allow the parents to attend the match if possible to be somewhere they can call out support from the sidelines.


Thanks for this post


Why are you coaching 5 year olds? Are you not aware of the damage it can do you their soft bones etc? If he wants to "play" football, then let him. He does not need coaching. If he has ASD he will settle into a structured game with rules well. Stand back and enjoy hus development. Support don't coach.


Mistermoss it is perfectly normal for parents to enrol their children into football clubs, courses and little league. The training is age appropriate and perfectly safe! Vincent you sound absolutely lovely, taking so much time and care over this child. I wish everyone was as supportive as you. Keep up the good work xxx

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I have aspergers, as does my 8 year old son. I am his football coach and i took on this role so that he could get into football. He is now mad about football. If i can give any advice, stick with this kid and it may be difficult at times and he may seem like he has lost interest. Its likely that the fear of failure can make it very difficult for him.

It took my son to score a penaltyin a game to finally have that obsession for the game. Achieve this with him and he could become one of the best players you have produced. The obsession and repetitive behaviour will help him want to be the best that he can be. Going into games will be difficult but give it time and you will be very proud.


Not everyone is repetive in there actions as we are all different as what one has as a regime others will be something different as much is how/what we saw/found as growing.

But the key to it is involvement communicate properly as we think so much faster than others we often see things others can't and each of us has a life skill.

But make them feel valued but not smothered.

If someone is taking the mickey with them explain to him it's not meant bad it's just fun.


My friends soon has it and playing football main club is interested in him.

Yes it can give moments but part of it is there doing something he enjoys so brain is occupied.

Im deemed Autistic with Asperger's i like my fishing and other things and for me it's a brain calmer sort of thing keeps me calmer as can fly off the handle plus with stroke one is against other so get pretty aggitated.

But much is how you speak/prepare him and listen to what hes saying give encouragement

But not hoodwink as we see through things.

but communication is key ask how he feels whats going on can we beat them what do you think we can do better involve him so feels part of it as we think far faster than you can our brains run at 900mph all the time


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