Rhythm and Movement
You get home from a busy day working with children with autism or your own child on the spectrum, and here I am rambling about rhythm. Here’s the thing, though; All movement is based in rhythm, and many children with autism have difficulty performing movements such as clapping along to a song or keeping cadence while performing locomotion activities (running, jumping, skipping, etc.) Does this mean we need to start scheduling individual rhythm classes for children with ASD each day? Honestly that would be great, but quite difficult in the current reality. There is, however, an alternate solution.
I love using rhythm activities as a warm-up with my athletes because so many important skills are needed to participate; attending, focus, short-term memory, sequencing, and reactivity. It does NOT have to be complicated. Take the SIMON SAYS Approach and you can even eliminate the “SAYS” part. Have an athlete or group of athletes follow a sequence of movements such as:
– Clap hands
– Stomp feet
– Jump up
– Clap hands on knees
– Clap or high five person to right/left
The beauty of this warm-up is that there are infinite progressions AND regressions possible. From a single clap-stomp-knee clap to following a musical pattern. This type of activity can prime athletes for a successful exercise session.