Monday, 23 September 2013

Meet Your Kids Where They Are At

School has now been under way for a few weeks.
I was meeting with a client last Wednesday who has started Grade 3 with a new teacher, limited access to a new TA, a new schedule, and a whole lot of time away from his mum!  As he came around the corner with his mum, sister, and Fonzie the dog and saw me he BURST into tears!!

Not a great sign!

"Mummy I want to cancel!"  There was more but I won't dwell!  I got Mum to leave with his sister and Fonzie and got my friend to sit with me.  This was a good opportunity to work on some breathing, some hand squeezing (instead of rubbing his eyes), and some talk about how he misses his Mummy and changes at school are hard and that he isn't sleeping well.

After 15 minutes I got my friend to agree to a 'walk and talk' instead of our normal high activity session.

We did over a 4k walk.

It wasn't what I had planned for, but I still count it as a successful session.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A School District Strategy?

I believe that school districts need to create a team of 'exercise practitioners' that will move throughout the schools in the district, pulling kids out of Resource rooms for a block of activity that works on cardiovascular, strength, balance, and motor skills.

Currently, most kids with special needs have an SEA (Special Education Assistant) attached to them for the school day (or they share one with another student depending on their needs).  Often, during physical education classes, these students participate on the periphery of a regular gym class (inclusion?) with their SEA. We can do better.

This post in NO WAY is meant to focus on the lack of exercise or participation during a regular gym class being provided/facilitated by the SEA.  If I am not mistaken SEA's are not trained in providing quality fitness instruction to their students.

A trained group of individuals could.

This block of exercise activity could be put in place as relief for the SEA and provide meaningful sessions of exercise and fitness for the students.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Never Leave the Playground - Stephen Jepson

I stumbled upon this video of Stephen Jepson of
Watch it.  Go play.

It is testimony that all movement is beneficial.  Juggle, roll, balance.  Be silly. Play.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Exercise can work well with Behaviour Plans

As an aversion to completing serious things that needed to be accomplished at home I have spent the morning sending unsolicited emails to a variety of community and provincial autism groups, and provincial organisations across Canada.
I am hopeful that I will generate some contact but I don't hold my breath!!

My goal?  To try and establish a conversation about the state of physical fitness of children and youth with an ASD (and other special needs).

What's your story?  What do you know about fitness levels amongst the special need community.  A stat I came across the other day is that 40 - 50% of kids diagnosed with ASD are either approaching or have reached the line of obesity.

There needs to be a shift in the treatment and behaviour planning for kids with ASD to MANDATE an exercise program INTO behaviour plans.  If a child can be taught to do something for a jelly bean as positive reinforcement...let's pair it with another behaviour (like a push up, a burpee, or a plank!).  ENGAGE your clients physically even while doing Discreet Trial Training at the table!

The benefits can be FAR reaching!