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Clear Learning Objectives

  • Have a basic understanding of different diagnoses, and how to best teach them and keep them safe.
  • Be prepared for handling behaviors and/or ignoring them when appropriate.
  • How to make your gym “sensory friendly,” and why it’s helpful for some kids.
  • Learn how to speak in a way that is respectful to the population.
  • Learn some new activities and how they can translate to global skills that kids need.
  • Ideas for branding and marketing.
  • Benefits of martial arts for everyone, and specifically for kids with special needs.

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Amanda Piepgras

Amanda is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant since 2002 who moved to San Diego from New York in 2015. She has been working with children with special needs since 1999, beginning her career as a teacher assistant at the preschool her sister attended as a child with spina bifida.

It has been her dream for years to combine her love of martial arts with her passion of working with children with special needs, whether it’s autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, learning disabilities, hearing/vision deficits, etc. She has studied karate, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu since 2006 and has competed in kickboxing and grappling on an amateur level. Coaching is her passion and she believes martial arts has many benefits to all children, but particularly children who have difficulties with sensory processing, attention span, focusing on task, impulse control, body awareness, and low muscle strength. Amanda has taught adaptive martial arts and self defense at South East Consortium for Special Services, Inc., We Rock the Spectrum, Gigi’s Playhouse, The Challenge Center, Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association and various martial arts gyms around San Diego. 

Continuing Education Units

2.00 Contact Hours Physical Therapy Board Of California