ALLOWING TRANSITIONS & MORE RANDOM THOUGHTS
It is quite apparent that many individuals with autism and related disorders do not have access to ongoing and appropriate fitness and healthy living programs. It is boggling when I see a fund raising event that promotes some type of physical challenge (mud runs, lifting events) in which sponsored individuals participate on behalf of the autism population, who will likely not have access to any fitness program. The event, the sponsoring? Great. Lovely. But what about...I don't know...actually developing some fitness programs for those on the spectrum? Lightbulb?
Here's a contingency. If an increase in appropriate, effective fitness and nutrition programs for the ASD population is not a foundation of long-term life skill development, we are facing a stupidly high rate of Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other completely preventable medical complications resulting from a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. Having autism does not exclude someone from these problems. It'd be nice if it did. But it doesn't.
A proactive approach to a healthier lifestyle can serve as a preventative measure from all the crap I cited above. Developing and maintaining individualized fitness programs and healthy nutritional choices should be the foundation for life skill programs starting now, at any age.
I am certainly biased, but I'm also right. A sensible proactive approach to healthy living includes:
- Fitness programming that develops strength, stability, and motor planning
- Increasing independence on specific physical activities
- Access to healthy food choices
We have an opportunity every day to increase health and well-being for the ASD population, a population that is growing into adulthood and deserving of the best possible care and education for an optimal life