It is very alarming to hear more and more of families being challenged with a member with Autism. Autism being such a wide spectrum, can be manifested in so many different ways. And often children with autism often receive lots of specialized care. This is not just taxing financially, but also physically and emotionally on the loved ones.
Having the experience of a beloved son with Asperger syndrome and also having the privileged of working with children on the spectrum for the past 13 years, I have seen first hand the change PILATES can bring to these special children – they are not special because they need to receive special care. They are special because they are unique, they are bright and they challenge us to become better than we have been.
PILATES has a focus on the core which can basically be thought of as the ‘powerhouse’ of your body. Your core is the area between your shoulders and your pelvis (without your arms and legs) and encompasses all the muscles within this area.
Because of its core focus, Pilates is popular not only in the field of fitness, but also in rehabilitation. It can be used to progress individuals through movements that represent their day-to-day activities. The focus on strengthening the core and improving postural awareness are especially well indicated for the alleviation and prevention of back, neck and joint pain.
WHAT CAN PILATES DO FOR MY CHILD?
- Helps reducing hyperactivity and improves concentration.
- Regulates emotions, teaching children to deal with everyday situations through breathing techniques.
- Improves muscle strength, balance, posture and coordination.
This is reason enough to get your loved one to a PILATES group.
I have often found that the children enrolled in our Kids Pilates groups, sleeps better, is generally more focused, their posture has improved and their social interaction is so much better.
Besides improving fitness, motor function, and behavior in individuals with autism, among the most important advantages of physical activity are the social implications of participating in sports and exercise. Physical activity can promote self-esteem, increase general levels of happiness, and can lead to positive social outcomes, all highly beneficial outcomes for individuals with autism.