Developing Confidence through Exercise
Confidence is an essential character trait for success. For young individuals with autism, confidence can often be low considering how many challenges life provides each day. Couple that with the difficulty young individuals on the spectrum have with socialization, peer relationships, and functional communication, plus my favorite instructor past time “No you’re not doing it right,” “No, not that way,” “Do it RIGHT,” “That’s not it.” Consider how many times a day a child or young adult with autism is actually told they are GOOD at something.
I’ve just started working with a small group of teenagers with ASD in beautiful Connecticut. One of the participants is clearly more motivated than her peer, but the goal is to establish success for everyone involved. It does take some behavior analysis and modification of the activities, the way they are presented and/or taught, and the feedback provided, but by incorporating some of these strategies both campers were able to not only complete all of the exercise activities, but both seemed assured of their accomplishments. If you are looking for a gateway to a greater sense of self-efficacy, I know none better than physical fitness.