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Autism Awareness Day

April 3, 2018

Today is April 2nd the World Autism Awareness Day- this is my story As a Physical trainer we approach new clients in a very methodical way. We are experienced in program design to deliver the most optimal results in the minimum amount of time being highly cost efficient. In other words, we tend to see a perfect world where we bring our clients through motivation, specific progressive exercises and optimal nutrition programs. Unfortunately my approach with a new client three years ago with severe autism did not work. Her mother insisted me please to not leave, to keep trying some exercises, some movements something. The mom was frustrated cause the kid because of her condition was suffering important aggressive behaviors being not able to cope with functional and social challenges. So I decided to stay and ask myself this question: what if my approach of envisioning a perfect world for my clients was wrong? What if my client with Autism has a perfect and wonderful world that I was not being aware of and “Home run” that was exactly the problem my approach was wrong I needed to be part of her world not her being part of mine! So I started trying to get close to her, whenever she said a word “muffin” “dinner” I would repeat it right after fast and I remember she looking at me maybe wondering: ” what is this guy trying to do? Is my friend? Well it is not going to be that easy I am a tough cookie” And through constant mirror and imaging I tried to get close to her trying to break into her perfect world. She let me in, I found some exercises that she loved like bouncing in a stability ball, some others she didn’t like walking with closed eyes or maintaining certain intensity in the treadmill but for sure one that she loved was lying down in pitch black room after engaging in a treadmill aerobic exercise. It has been an incredible journey of personal reflection, discovery and understanding on a condition that I was not aware of till I met her. Now she is my best client: I see her 4 times a week and she engages in quite intense structured progressive exercise program that has left me speechless on how well she adapst every time and how great she feels after helping her to use exercise as a “medicine” for maladaptive behaviors, better sleep and strength especially keeping an optimal weight. However what i feel it is more important is that feel part of a process where I am helping her to be successful and not only her but her parents as well. #autism #worldautism #autismawareness Autism.speaks

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