What is autism? To put it simply, autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a bio-neurological developmental disorder. Symptoms typically manifest before age three. Symptoms may include impaired social skills and cognitive function, and nearly one-third to half (30 to 50%) of children with autism suffer from seizures. Thankfully, experts and researchers are continually developing more ways to help. There are more activities and games and sensory products for autistic children than ever before. Let's take play and physical activity, for example. What are the best games, sports, and exercises to help kids hone skills and manage symptoms?
The Many Benefits Of Swimming
Swimming stimulates the senses -- an important part of development, especially for autistic kids -- while offering a low-impact exercise option. Note: Unsupervised swimming can be a hazard to any and all children, and it can be especially perilous for children with autism. All swimming lessons and swimming activities should be supervised by a responsible adult.
Star Jumps, Resistance Band Exercises, Sensory Ball Exercises
Fitness isn't just for adults; kids can enjoy it, too, and that includes kids with autism. Whenever possible, keep exercises and fitness fun. Exercises like star jumps -- start low to the ground, hugging your knees, jump up and thrust out your arms and legs, and repeat -- are dynamic and entertaining. Practice in a gymnasium on soft mats or in a yard or grassy area, just in case kids lose their footing. Similarly, sensory balls and resistance bands pack a double whammy: they are stretchy, squishy, and brightly colored (stimulating sensory processing) and helping kids exercise all at once.
Small Movements Make A Big Difference (Isometric Exercises)
Finally, movements don't have to be huge and dynamic to be beneficial. Think about the benefits of yoga and stretching. Stretching calms nerves and warms up the muscles. Practice small movements with autistic kids, like squeezing sensory balls for children or making a fist, to help ease stress and keep kids calm.
Exercise is beneficial for everyone, including kids with autism. Invest in swimming lessons and sensory balls for children, and practice small, isometric movements to help kids excel.