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Tennis lessons helping kids on the autism spectrum

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jul 25, 2018

Brothers Gibson and Watson Gilbert are working on their tennis skills. They love a challenge from their teacher.

Gibson who is 9-years-old said, "Playing tennis has like always helped me play better at tennis."

"You can really get exercise and it's one of the most popular sports," said his 7-year-old brother Watson. 

This summer, the boys are helping tennis instructor Lisa Pugliese who founded "Love Serving Autism."

She teaches kids on the autism spectrum at the "Els For Autism Foundation" in Jupiter.

"They have difficulty regulating themselves with behavior, with sensory. So, a lot of the gross motor skills in the tennis activity helps therapeutically to calm them down so that they can focus better," said Pugliese.

The program is helping improve their social skills.

"I've seen many children here at the tennis program increase their language skills and they are socializing more during tennis than they do in the classrooms," said Pugliese. 

It's equipping students on the autism spectrum for the future.

"So that they can become independent members in the community, have jobs someday and really contribute to society," said Pugliese.

Meanwhile, parent Lee Gilbert, Gibson and Watson's mother, says these young volunteers are also becoming more independent.

"It's important to be able to socialize with other children and of every age so it's good to see that," said Gilbert.

"Love Serving Autism" event will take place Saturday, July 28.