“Okay, now let’s see a squat, I’m gonna go first and then you try.” The above is a standard sentence during my PAC Profile assessments and it carries with it powerful proactivity. I just also serendipitously learned that “proactivity” is a real, bona-fide word. When we teach movement, it makes sense to demonstrate first. Explaining to anybody a physical activity they’ve never performed, or performed with questionable technique, will skew
“Okay, I have some Dynamax balls, some resistance bands, a few Sandballs, what do you want to try first?” This is usually my first question after I’ve met a new athlete and I begin the PAC Profile assessment. I want to know if there is any particular piece of equipment or movement pattern that they gravitate towards. Yes I want to optimize squatting patterns and trunk stability, and that will occur over time with patience and consistency. The objective within the first few sessions is developing an amiable repoire with the athlete and introducing new activities.
So what movement activities make sense when developing fitness programs for the autism and special needs populations? The same that make sense for most human bodies! Fitness programs should focus primarily on big gross motor movements that are most likely to develop strength, stability, motor planning, and carryover or generalize to other areas of life.