Zones of Regulation for Trainers and Teachers

Self-regulation refers to our ability to control our own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in relation to our environment. Examples of self-regulation are resisting emotional outbursts when something upsets us, controlling impulses, calming down when someone feels worried or anxious, and transitioning from one task to another. Teachers and trainers can help children with special needs or emotional challenges. They can use the method of the zones of regulation to recognize and help their clients navigate their emotions in the gym classroom.

Behavior Regulation Tools for Autistic Clients

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.

A Story of a Child with Type 2 Diabetes

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.

Agility Drills

Agility is your body’s ability to be quick, graceful, and nimble. It is how effectively and efficiently you can move as well as change the direction and the position of your body while maintaining control and improving your cardiovascular health. Agility is the ability to move, change direction, and position the body effectively while under control. It also:

Life Can Be A Zoo: A Guide for Stretching for Young Children

Stretching is important for any age especially children since their muscles and bones have not finished growing yet. Though injuries to children are more easily repaired than for adults, bone and ligament injuries never repaired as fully as healthy new muscle. Stretching is generally overlooked in children’s training programs yet children need to stretch for the same reasons as adults.

Hence the following animal poses designed to teach flexibility, strength, balance, concentration, and the importance of stretching, presented as a play, achieve the desired results.

Carbohydrates: Don’t Avoid Them!

Carbohydrates are a group of organic compounds made of carbons that include sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums. They serve as a major energy source in the diets of animals and humans. They provide fuel for aerobic and anaerobic activity. Carbohydrates provide sustained energy for aerobic activity and immediate energy for anaerobic or high-intensity activities. It is essential that long-distance runners and high-intensity athletes intake adequate carbohydrates before, during, and after activity. The appropriate amount will depend on the length and intensity of the activity. Carbohydrates are needed to burn fat and are metabolic primers. When you eat carbohydrates, they are released into your bloodstream, cause insulin to be released, and provide energy to the cells and the blood. This means that carbohydrates, taken in the right amount and in small amounts, can aid in weight loss as well.

Introduction to Using Visual Schedules with Autistic Students

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.

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