Schererville, IN (PressExposure) April 20, 2012 -- The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation (www.myASDF.org), a national organization that provides direct support for families living with autism, partners with the Oakland University Center for Autism Research, Education and Support (OUCARES) every year to provide SNAG® golf equipment.
SNAG stands for "Starting New at Golf." It contains all of the elements of golf, allowing for full shots, chipping, pitching, and putting. SNAG is perfect for individuals with Autism because it incorporates developmentally appropriate equipment that enables golf to be learned and played by people of all skill levels and in virtually any environment.
The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation donates the SNAG equipment, which includes a ball that is slightly smaller than a tennis ball and covered with loop material, golf clubs, and a target that is an above ground weighted cylinder covered with a hook material.
The program, which is appropriate for individuals diagnosed with Asperger's, High Functioning Autism, and PDD/NOS, improves motor skills, working in a group setting, and following directions. The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation's donation of SNAG equipment makes it possible for OUCARES to offer both beginner and intermediate programs, which take place from April 9 to May 21, 2012, and are available for children ages eight and up.
In addition to promoting athletics and social development, The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation's support of the SNAG golf program encourages family time. OUCARES allows families to borrow SNAG equipment to use at home or to take on vacation. Siblings can attend lessons with their brother or sister, and parents are seeing the program help with developing social participation as their autistic children initiate conversations about golf.
The SNAG golf program has also inspired university and volunteer involvement. OUCARES' golf instructor is an Oakland University director who donates his time and experience, as well as writes the curriculum for the SNAG golf beginner and intermediate programs. This year, one of Oakland University's Par 3 courses will host its golfers with Autism, focusing on long distance shots, course navigation, and golf etiquette.
In addition to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, OUCARES has partnered with Oakland University's Men's and Women's golf team to help promote Autism awareness and provide teaching opportunities on campus.
As the SNAG program continues to gain popularity, more and more participants with Autism are excited to learn about golf and have encouraged their parents to continue their golf lessons. This popularity prompted OUCARES to add the intermediate SNAG golf program in the spring of 2012.
"The generous donation of the SNAG golf equipment by the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation has made an impact that is beyond the individual with ASD," said Kathy Sweeney, director of OUCARES. "Michael Slutsky (director of The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation) wanted to help OUCARES improve the quality of life of autistic children by encouraging family time, and we are grateful to be able to do that and even more thanks to ASDF's charitable contribution."
The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation (ASDF) and the Oakland University Center for Autism Research, Education and Support (OUCARES) are thankful for the opportunity to participate in Autism Awareness Month.