Y.A.L.E. School News

Baby It’s Cold Outside: 5 Ways to Get Your Child Moving

Y.A.L.E. School Mullica Twp Bubbles For AutismWinter can be tough time to get in enough exercise for children on the autism spectrum with opportunities for outdoor fun reduced by cold weather. But there are some indoor activites you can try to promote movement, even during ice and snow season.

Yoga: There are many benefits to doing yoga with kids with autism. It helps improve their strength, flexibility and breathing. It can be used as a calming tool and is a great way to help meet their sensory needs.

Dance: Dance is a fun way to get exercise, which allows children to be creative and expressive. It can improve balance, motor skills and overall mood. Encourage your child to move his or her body fully, getting the blood flowing and the heart pumping—it is a great cardiovascular exercise. Many children enjoy listening to music, so allow your child to pick his or her favorite song and have fun!

Locomotor movements: Locomotor movements involve moving from one place to another. Some examples are walking (forwards and backwards), hopping, running, skipping, and marching.

Non-locomotor movements: Non-locomotor movements involve remaining in one spot. Some examples are turning, twisting, jumping and bending. Once your child has a firm understanding of each movement, combine different movements together. Many children have a hard time putting two skills together, so this is a great way to stimulate their brains, while working on different movement skills.

Manipulative movements: Manipulative movement skills use objects (e.g., balls, bean bags, scarves, etc.) and require children to handle objects with precision in accordance with speed and control. Children can practice grabbing, squeezing, gripping, tossing, catching, rolling and bouncing. Once they get control of the basic movements, challenge them by having them only use one hand, combining movements, and standing on one leg. Allow your child to be creative, then help guide him or her to do different movements.

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