ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder
“Live each day; your condition does not own you. Make every new day better; always remember, you are still in charge.” (Frank C. Church)
What is it?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause persistent social, communication and behavioural challenges. Individuals with ASD often find it difficult to interact in social contexts, experience repetitive patterns of behaviours and have a range of other difficulties that can impact their quality of life.
These challenges mean people with ASD experience major developmental obstacles which results in a wide range of functional difficulties. This can often make it difficult to engage in active lifestyle interventions.
Exercise and ASD
Exercise is an evidence-based, safe and effective treatment modality for individuals living with ASD. Exercise not only improves the physical condition, but also reduces the maladaptive behavioural patterns and specific symptoms for people with ASD. Research shows that exercise can help manage the implications of physical inactivity and improve academic ability.
At Physical Evolution, we implement a range of exercise interventions to manage adults with all levels of ASD. Our Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists implement cardiovascular and strength training to promote fundamental movement skills and build physical and cognitive capacity. Whether it is developing more coordination, improving health or engaging in the community/environment around you, our team at Physical Evolution will tailor your exercise program to suit your particular goals and needs.
At Physical Evolution, exercise plays a key role in ASD management by:
Evidence proves that moderate to vigorous exercise can reduce repetitive self-stimulatory behaviour as well as stereotypical behaviours patterns for individuals with ASD. Other studies report positive effects on verbal and non-verbal social, communication and sensory skills.
Research demonstrates that exercise interventions can lead to a significant (37%) improvement in ASD specific symptoms, specifically behavioural and academic improvement.
Physical and mental complications are prevalent in adults with ASD. Exercise and physical activity may help reduce the impact of comorbidities such as epilepsy, sleep disturbances and anxiety and depression that are associated with ASD
Engaging individuals with ASD in an individually tailored exercise program can lead to improvements in muscular strength, aerobic fitness, coordination, balance and motor planning. Exercise also improves gross and fine motor skills and has a positive influence on participation in physical activity.