Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaching Fitness to Children on the Spectrum

On Sunday, October 25, 2009, families joined together in Central Park, on a sunny, crisp Fall day, for a hands-on tutorial on teaching fitness to children on the autism spectrum. Our group of young athletes and their parents were led by Eric Chessen. Eric brings to his practice not only his knowledge of fitness and physiology but also a background in psychology and training in ABA. He works with children and their families as well as with schools and other organized programs. Eric believes strongly in establishing the fundamentals of fitness so that children have a solid foundation on which to build as they learn to play sports or other physical activities. For many children on the spectrum, basic body movements and coordination are significant challenges and Eric works to remediate these issues.

At our Central Park event, he taught parents and children some fun, simple activities that got the children moving their bodies, with adult assistance where needed. Kids were engaged in and having fun with bear walks, obstacle courses, ball activities, rope activities (like the athlete in this photo) and many other programs designed to allow them to develop the foundational physical skills that may be weak. With the help of several terrific volunteers, Eric and the parents were able to begin to help the children work on these body basics. Parents also were able to spend time chatting with Eric and getting additional tips on helping their children develop stronger physical skills and learning more about why it is important to have these skills in place so that children then can focus on learning sport-specific skills and rules more easily because movement itself will be more natural.

On his website, autismfitness.com, you can learn much more about Eric and his programs.

1 comment:

Sabeeha Rehman said...

I was at this event and watching the children interact with the instructor, their parents, and amongst themselves, as they engaged in sports, was a sight to behold. It was a beautiful fall day, and Central Park was the perfect setting for a family event. I hope we can have more of such events. Thank you Eric, for spending your Sunday morning with our children.