Can’t Vs. Doesn’t Understand; Coaching Towards Learning Style

“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

Autism & Exercise: Persistence not Perfection

Over the last 12 years I have given hundreds of presentations to the autism community. From my first presentation till now, my message has been the same: Exercise needs to be a part of the daily routine for individuals with autism. However, merely saying that does not always connect with each person in the audience.

The 3 Phases of Increased Motivation

“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.

The Benefits of Exercise for Individuals with Autism

Seriously, what aren’t the benefits of fitness for the autism population? As human beings, we all need to move for optimal health and development. Last I checked (approximately four minutes ago), individuals with autism and related disorders were, in fact, human beings. When discussing the inherent benefits of exercise, certainly there are physical, behavioral, and cognitive areas of ability that can receive a boost in quality.

Making Sense of Exercise for Those with Autism

Many individuals with autism have heightened sensory systems. If you try to teach exercise while their body is in this state, you may experience resistance from the child or student, you could become frustrated, and even worse, exercise may be seen as negative experience for your child or student.

The Top 5 Exercises for Children with Autism

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.