Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome both belong to what is known as the “Autism spectrum”. Disorders that belong in this category are development disorders that deal with neurobiological aspect of the body. Many children, depending on where they are on the spectrum can be very high functioning. Others have little spatial perception, reduced fine motor skills and cannot tolerate excessive amounts of sensory stimulation.
Children diagnosed with Autism and Aspergers are not unteachable. They are actually very intelligent and high functioning. Like any child, they will benefit from physical activity and exercise. Those who are not afraid of large groups of people may learn from the opportunity to play in team sports. Loud noises and yelling may adversely affect students with Aspergers. In some cases, they may have behavioral outbursts if things are not as they believe they should be. Children with Aspergers and autism are very “rule-oriented” and many have established routines. Individual sports like golf or track may be more on their level of comfort.
Whether they participate in a team sport or an individual one, children with developmental disabilities can benefit from the physical activity, social interaction and overall entertainment value of participating. Staying active can reduce frustrations and burn off excess energy. Learning to follow direction and stay on task are additional benefits of various types of sports. Exercise and other types of physical activity, especially team sports can teach developmentally challenged kids to control aggressive outbursts and limit behaviors. Repetitive patterns may decrease, while children learn to adapt to the structure of the sport.
Physical limitations may reduce the types of sports and exercise a child can participate in. Some children that are developmentally disabled may have difficulty walking or have limited fine motor skills. Exercise and physical activity may be able to increase their capabilities and enhance their physical movements. Social skills will also increase. Interaction between the child and a teacher or trainer will still improve social skills, even if it is a one on one activity.
Several sports and various types of exercise may be enjoyed for the their entertainment value alone. Participating in a physical activity that a child really enjoys will result in laughter and a sense of accomplishment. Strengthening their body will also stimulate their mind and improve their overall mental health. While food provides the nutrition for the body, exercise supplies it to the mind.
Proper nutrition and exercise are necessary for any child to remain in good health. Children with Aspergers and autism are no different. Their nutritional needs may vary depending on their particular place on the autism spectrum. Many will have distinct likes and dislikes when it comes to the foods they eat. Aspergers children may not do well with the texture or taste of certain foods. Some may only like foods that are prepared a certain way. Nutritious foods are only good for a child if the will eat them. Finding out what types of food a developmentally challenged child will eat is a must to keep them in optimum health.
There are many charitable organizations and events happening all over the world. Consider getting involved in some of these and help raise funds and awareness of these costly diseases. Visit icare4autism or on Facebook, there are many pages dedicated to Autism such as Aspergers & Autism Support & Autism Awareness .
Feel free to comment here and offer more great sources for parents to research and learn more about this condition.
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2 thoughts on “Sports and Nutrition for children with Autism”
thank you for interesting post, it was very useful
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