Exercise and sports provide a number of benefits for children with autism such as better overall health, reduced levels of stress, improved sleep, improvements in coordination and motor skills and opportunities for social interactions.
- Encourage arm movements with fitness ropes, such as a jump rope.
- Consider non-team activities such as horseback riding, hiking, fishing and martial arts.
- Look into team sports such as swimming, track and field and bowling.
- Get involved by playing with your child – shoot hoops or play catch together
- Enrol your child in a class such as yoga, dance or Zumba.
- Encourage virtual exercise through interactive video games that involve dance, fitness and other activities.
6 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Move
- Develop a structured fitness regimen based on the child’s interests and hobbies.
- Put together an exercise program that takes his needs and aversions into account.
- Create a visual way to show the child how much he or she has improved over time.
- Let the child choose a fun activity after completing a more challenging one.
- Make exercise a fun family activity – encourage parents, siblings and anyone else to get involved.
- Invite other children and their families to join you if your child enjoys playing with peers.
Every child is different. Some will enjoy all of these activities while others may only enjoy one or two. Use this as guide to explore a range of activities and you’ll find what works for your child – and what doesn’t.
Remember, the important thing is to keep moving forward!