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-   -   Training a kid with autism (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=89261)

Kristian Wolowidnyk 07-03-2016 03:37 AM

Training a kid with autism
 
My 4 year old got diagnosed with autism last summer. Thinking I wanna get him out in the garage gym to keep him active. Was gonna put him in a crossfit kids class but non of the gyms around here run classes for kids that young. I do have my level 1 and a few certs and ran the crossfit club for my military unit so I do have coaching experience. Anyone have experience training a kid with special needs. Any advice will be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Kristian Wolowidnyk 07-03-2016 04:03 AM

Re: Training a kid with autism
 
Read the thread on training a 3 year old... good stuff

Steven Wingo 07-03-2016 06:44 AM

Re: Training a kid with autism
 
Kristian I can't offer specific advice myself, but will ask one of my fellow coaches--our box conducts a class specifically for special needs kids and does so working with a local Special Olympics group. Each of the coaches participating had to complete some training done in conjunction with the local Special Olympics group. You can find some of those resources on the internet (I was quickly about to do so with a Google search).

In terms of exercise for kids with autism, I have helped sponsor a friend's son who is autistic and participates in triathlons. I've not personally been involved with coaching him, but can tell you his Mom and Dad rave about how much fitness and training have helped him. The training is his "safe place" and helps him with other aspects of his life as well.

Ben Kissam 07-03-2016 10:20 AM

Re: Training a kid with autism
 
I've taught inclusive physical education classes in the past, giving me the opportunity to work with students of various needs all in one classroom.

Some tips that come to mind right away:
  • Set small goals. Until you learn the ins and outs of what motivates your child, you will probably experience times where it's difficult to get them to buy in. Small, attainable goals (sometimes with a reward at the end) are a good way to build up the intrinsic motivation.
  • Relate fitness to something your kid already loves. This goes along with the incentive and rewards idea. They aren't necessarily earning something every time they succeed, but come up with ways to relate working out to things that already are super "cool" in their mind.
  • Consider starting with the locomotor skills before you dive into more challenging fitness concepts- running, jumping, hopping, skipping, sliding, etc. At one point, I worked with 5-6 year olds with special needs and this was their favorite part of PE.

Hope this helps! I'd love to hear how this progresses.

Michael A. Jones 07-03-2016 04:12 PM

Re: Training a kid with autism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben Kissam (Post 1263663)
I've taught inclusive physical education classes in the past, giving me the opportunity to work with students of various needs all in one classroom.

Some tips that come to mind right away:
  • Set small goals. Until you learn the ins and outs of what motivates your child, you will probably experience times where it's difficult to get them to buy in. Small, attainable goals (sometimes with a reward at the end) are a good way to build up the intrinsic motivation.
  • Relate fitness to something your kid already loves. This goes along with the incentive and rewards idea. They aren't necessarily earning something every time they succeed, but come up with ways to relate working out to things that already are super "cool" in their mind.
  • Consider starting with the locomotor skills before you dive into more challenging fitness concepts- running, jumping, hopping, skipping, sliding, etc. At one point, I worked with 5-6 year olds with special needs and this was their favorite part of PE.

Hope this helps! I'd love to hear how this progresses.

I concur with Ben. Although I only had two teen athletes with autism, I found that motor skill development was a must to begin. Agility ladder drills and jump rope were their favorites. I'd use colored footprints for a visual aid when using the ladders.
Fitness games and puzzles were another staple, along with core development. I limited the use of weights but eventually incorporated some dumbbell movements into my program.
Breaking Muscle had a fantastic piece on training autistic athletes but you have to be an active subscriber to the coaching section.
https://coachesonly.breakingmuscle.c...ith-any-client


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