it can have a powerful effect on mood. Children with autism may struggle with coordination, balance, and fine motor skills, but they can also benefit from exercises that allow them to burn off excess energy, relieve frustration and improve their bodily awareness. Schools for children with special needs should take this into account.
What do schools for children with special needs need to think about?
First, remember that every child is different. You need to observe students carefully and talk to them and the people who know them best to identify strengths and weaknesses so that exercises can be adapted to work for them. There are different exercises for different skills.
Many children with autism practice repetitive movements (sometimes called stimming) as a form of self-soothing. Although these movements are usually harmless, they can attract unwanted attention from others. Some research suggests that exercises that mimic common stims may help reduce movement in less appropriate situations. Arm circles are an example of this kind of exercise. They also have the advantage of improving upper body and core strength, along with flexibility, coordination, and motor control.
Children and adults with autism can be easily overstimulated by sensory input, but in other situations, the chance to engage their senses in different ways can be a source of comfort. A weighted medicine ball or similar tool can provide tactile sensation and squeezing or throwing it can serve as both physical exercise (again helping both strength and coordination) and a way to relieve stress and frustration.
Some children with special needs struggle with proprioception. This is about being aware of your own body and its relation to the world around you. It includes things like being able to tell when you need to change direction to avoid crashing into something or noticing if the ground under your feet is slippery. A sense of balance is an essential part of proprioception, so exercises to improve balance have a wider benefit. This can start with simple things like standing on one leg but can also include a variety of yoga positions.
These also help children orient themselves with the world around them and improve their balance, but in a more active and energetic way. They are a valuable cardiovascular exercise that engages and strengthens multiple muscles. Repetitive movement is also often valued by children with autism.
Mirror exercises are when you do an exercise, and the child copies you like a reflection. Mimicry is a valuable teaching tool, especially with children who may struggle to understand and relate to other people. These kinds of exercises can help children with disabilities be more aware of how others behave, in addition to making them more comfortable with their surrounding environment and how their own body moves within it.
When done properly, exercises do not just improve physical health; they can also reduce stress and aggression, making children happier and more focused. Adapting them for autistic traits ensures students at schools for children with special needs have the best opportunities to improve their overall quality of life.
Call or Email us today to find out more about Brighton School