Vestibular kids are the ones who benefit greatly from the expertise of an effective certified trainer. They are the kids who are initially and probably not the most coordinated but with coaching can become an energetic part of a team. These are the youngsters who are in constant motion because they must be moving at all…
As trainers, we are more than the persons who work with our clients one to three times a week, but we are also a resource for parents, teachers, and those who work with our clients. Many children and teens benefit from exercise because it is heavy work. Many activities we demonstrate in the gym can…
Trainers and coaches have found a new opportunity when they work with the developmentally disabled, mentally challenged, and behavior challenged. These youth and adults need fitness even more so than the average child or adult. And we trainers can work with a population that will show and benefit greatly from our expertise. But the challenge…
Trainers and coaches have a fantastic opportunity to train a population that is passionate and ready for improving their daily life. This population consists of youths, individuals, ADHD, and autistic participants. ADHD Children, teens, and adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, often suffer from the inability to sit still. They squirm in their seats and are easily bored or distracted.
As trainers work with children and teens on the autism spectrum, it is very important that they work hand in hand with other caregivers. Many of the effective tools they use can also be employed successfully in the fitness environment.
The tools show what behavior is to be expected in certain situations, visual aids to remind them of acceptable behavior and options shown to independently monitor their own behavior.
I have always had a special heart for kids with special needs, especially those with Down syndrome. Never in my thirty years working with special needs has there been a Down’s child, teen, or adult who has not woven their way into my heart in a unique way. And it also seems like I am more tolerant of their smiles, hugs, flirting with others, and strong will. But this child was very different. He was morbidly obese, and I even noticed the year before when I observed his class that he was going to be one of those handfuls. For the first time in my special education career, I was going to have a child I would have to daily make the choice to love.
Approximately 14 million Americans have a self-reported visual impairment that affects their lifestyle and overall well-being. According to the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, individuals who are impaired have lower levels of physical fitness than their sighted companion does. In fact, following daily activities also tend to demand more energy, causing an increase in fatigue. The good news is that visual impairments do not affect the benefits they receive from physical activity.
Everyone is in need of physical activity for favorable health, including people with disabilities. According to the CDC, 53 million adults in the USA are living with a disability. However, nearly 50% of those who are capable of being physically active does not get nearly enough physical activity. As a fitness professional, it is always good to be armed with as many skills and certifications as possible as it will allow you to stand out in an intensely competitive field. Obtaining the necessary certifications that will enable you to provide all-inclusive training to the disabled will not only allow you to cater for a niche market but will see you render an invaluable service to the community as well.
What is a visual schedule?
A visual schedule is a plan that helps those students with limited abilities who cannot communicate, such as those children-through-adults limited speeches, sensory issues, and developmentally challenged as well as autism. They have trouble understanding and giving input to instructions. Persons with limited speech and autism often have difficulty following verbal directions and social cues. A schedule helps a person to see a plan of action for the exercise session order of events, as well as remain calm, reduce inappropriate behaviors, develop independence, and increase self-esteem. Even if the whole group does not need a schedule, working with a group of both special needs students and regular education students helps the whole group see a beginning and ending to an exercise session. A visual schedule is also helpful for breaking down a task that has multiple steps to ensure the teaching and compliance of those steps.
This is the last of our series. We will discuss learning disabilities, autism, and behavior differences.
A learning disability is a disorder in which spoken or written language, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, or mathematical calculations is a struggle. That learner is typically one or more grade levels below the average child, and for that individual, learning is quite difficult. Milestones in motor skills and memorization are inhibited. If a teacher or trainer can provide activities using the learner’s strengths, increased visual and verbal directions, and hands-on experiences, the learner can experience success. Many people misunderstand students with learning disabilities and mistakenly characterize them as lazy, weird, and socially impaired. These persons learn differently, and the attuned teacher or trainer must realize that learners should work in their own ways.