Wednesday 20 February 2013

Autism Anxiety Amygdala Exercise

I was thinking about why I promote exercise for children with autism and enjoy finding connections between things that help me say what I need to say!

Here is some information on the connection between autism and anxiety:


  • High-functioning children with autism were compared with two control groups on measures of anxiety and social worries.  Comparison control groups consisted of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and normally developing children. Each group consisted of 15 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years and were matched for age and gender. Children with autism were found to be most anxious on both measures. High anxiety subscale scores for the autism group were separation anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. These findings are discussed within the context of theories of autism and anxiety in the general population of children. Suggestions for future research are made.
Gillott, AFurniss, FWalter, A (2001).  Anxiety in High-Functioning Children with Autism, Autism : the international journal of research and practiceISSN 1362-3613, 09/2001, Volume 5,Issue 3, pp. 277 - 286

Here is another about the relationship between exercise and anxiety:
  •  Aerobic exercise appears to have significant therapeutic benefits in the treatment of anxiety and depression.  This effect has been demonstrated in animal models as well as in humans.  However, there has been limited study of the potential brain mechanisms that produce an anti-anxiety or an anti-depressant effect.

This is only one of many of the benefits of vigorous exercise for children with autism.

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