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New Study on Autism reports that 1 out 91 from 1 out 150. My experience training a severe Autistic Kid

October 5, 2009

Autism on the rise: Lets get together as a community

Autistic kids have a beautiful world, be part of it.

I have performed over 15,000 of personal training hours in Manhattan. Every client is a different world and my clients have been the best thing that has ever happened to me. The power of “Movement” still leaves me speechless. One of the main principles of my program is how to add a mental task with a physical movement to get the best of a “Brain and a Body workout”

Is exercise important for Autistic kids?

Life Changing

It was one year ago when I encountered a real challenge for me. I was approached by several mothers who asked me if i could start training their autistic kids. I was honored and concerned. Would i be able to help these kids? Especially one being a severe  autistic kid?. My first sessions with her could not have been worse.  The kid will frequently bang her head with her hand, she will scratch me hard and she will lay down in the floor everytime that i will try to do an exercise with her. Then i started thinking  out of the box and trying to think what a great world they must see and how difficult and frustrating would be to not be able to communicate with people around you, especially the ones you love. So I realized that they have a wonderful world and I wanted to be part of it and not the other way around.   That was my strategy, many times trainers try to make clients part of our super healthy world and this is not the case, WE NEED TO PART OF THEIRS!.

Autism and Exercise: Psychiatrist Feedback

According to a child psychiatrist, Dr Lombardo, The severity and the range of symptoms seen in children grouped under the diagnosis of autism can vary.  However, one of the most common is difficulty with motor coordination and difficulty integrating movement with perception of space.  Some clinicians believe that stereotyped movements (such as flapping, spinning, or head banging) are attempts on the part of autistic children to locate themselves in space or to manage the anxiety resulting from profound spatial disorientation.  An important source of this disorientation is poor coordination of the left and right cerebral hemisphere.  Poor coordination of the left and right brain affects three dimensional vision, balance, motor coordination (both fine and gross), and the ability to maintain concentration while moving or while having to distinguish details in three dimensional space.

Strategy

So i decided to be creative: Why not devise a specific circuit of exercises that will have the kid completely engaged at the time that she will not be able to stop in the middle of one exercise to draw or read?First we started working with 3 exercises, then 5, then 10 and now we are in 15 (circuits last approximately 4 minutes. In each circuit there are over 10 different exercises (100 movements non stop that this kid is doing brilliantly).  Someday I hope i can share them somewhere. So far results could not be better

Medical Feedback

According to the child psychiatrist, my program helps with the integration of the right and left hemispheres. Using a series of exercises that gradually build coordination, balance, and strength, the program addresses this crucial handicap which autistic children suffer.  One of the beauties of the program is its adaptability to almost any level of competence.  Another special strength is the capacity of the Brain Muscle Workout to address these crucial handicaps without specifically identifying them. Instead the exercises can be made into a game that uses the magic of play to empower a child’s learning with fun.  A child’s self esteem is protected and ultimately strengthened while their enjoyment and control of their body increases.

Everyone has been talking about Today’s studies of Autism on the raise. However we can do so much as a community. Movement and brain power plays a really important part in their future development. I am still researching which exercises are the most appropriate ones for them and I am quite enjoying the journey.

Michael Gonzalez-Wallace

Author “Super Body, Super Brain”

Upcoming Book: Release date April 27th 2010

www.superbodysuperbrain.com

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