One of the most essential elements for a healthy brain is easily available and poorly managed by the child with autism: Oxygen.

Research found that children with autism have difficulty with deep breathing and a lower heart rate than expected during physical exercise, possibly caused by a deficit in the limbic system.

In apparent contradiction, most parents report that their children are very active, running, hopping, flapping, etc. This visible activity often leads parents to think that their children exercise plenty enough during the day.

Statistics paint a different picture: Children with autism tend to experience less physical exercise  than their “neuro-typical” peers. Less physical exercise means less oxygen to the brain, but also, physical exercise was shown to have a positive impact on brain plasticity. So, “particular attention has to be given to physical activity in children and young adults with autism“, to quote Macdonald, Esposito and Ulrich in their published paper: The physical activity patterns of children with autism.

Mendability recommends that the families add two daily routines to their lives: down time and physical exercise.

One possible aerobic therapy exercise adapted to a child with autism:

Because the child with autism has trouble following instructions or discipline, adapted physical exercise programs must be organized at school or at home considering their abilities and body control.

Physical exercise programs for a child with autism will involve the adult supervising it, to ensure that the child completes the session.

One adapted physical exercise session can be organized around an “up and down” set of obstacles during which the child will have to bend under an obstacle or step over another. In a gym or backyard, the adult will create a motivational set of steps, each one being rewarded by a preferred object.

Any piece of the furniture, such as a table, a broom stick can be used to walk under and then fetch a preferred object and immediately followed by an obstacle to walk over, such as a large book raised on one side. The adult holds the child’s hand constantly in order to maintain the pace and ensure that all the obstacles are completed.

Ten minutes for each session should ensure satisfactory exercise and are followed by down time during which the child is left on his own to do what he pleases.

A physical exercise session followed by down time will be ideal to precede a Mendability session of exercises.

References

About Sensory Enrichment Therapy

Clinical Studies Validate Sensory Enrichment Therapy as an Effective Autism Treatment

Results showed that after 6 months of therapy 42% of the children in the sensory enrichment group achieved clinically significant improvement, compared to only 7% of the children in the standard care group.

  1. Woo, C., & Leon, M. (2013). Environmental enrichment as an effective treatment for autism: A randomized controlled trial. Behavioral Neuroscience, 487-497.
  2. Woo, C., Donnelly, J., Steinberg-Epstein, R., & Leon, M. (2015). Environmental enrichment as a therapy for autism: A clinical trial replication and extension. Behavioral Neuroscience, 412-422.

42% of children with autism had a clinically significant improvement

Click here for more information about the clinical trials

  • Brain Plasticity

    Studies have shown that the brain has the ability to change and develop.

  • Sensory Enrichment Therapy

    Sensory Enrichment Therapy includes specific protocols proven to enhance brain plasticity. It is a scientifically driven treatment that uses sensory experiences to enable the brain to reduce the symptoms of autism.

  • Mendability

    Mendability provides this autism therapy over the Internet at a low cost, giving a structured treatment protocol that you can administer at home for 10-15 minutes daily.

    This is an autism therapy with clinically proven results, personalized to fit within your schedule – officially accredited by The Joint Commission.

The results are:

  • A child who initiates more natural conversations
  • A child who is more comfortable in his own skin and the world around him
  • A child who can learn more confidently
  • More calm, more focus, more engagement
  • Deeper, less interrupted sleep
  • More interest in varied foods
  • Easier to cope with change and to transition

Mendability - Sensory Enrichment Therapy for Autism - Accredited by the Joint Commission

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