Sandbells, Sunrays, and Singing. My Autism Fitness weekend
This past weekend I had the opportunity to work with an energetic, curly haired girl who performed brilliantly in the first ten minutes of our assessment session, and then decided she would rather bang on the garage door and scream at the Halloween witch decoration on the lawn. I really don’t blame her as I have spent many a fine Sunday doing pretty much the same thing. Suffice to say that autism makes for some unique fitness experiences.
Following her outburst which was easily identifiable as an escape from demands situation (alas I am not yet paired with reinforcement), she calmed down and then began to sing a medley that ranged from the Barney theme to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” to a number that she may very well herself have written and scored. Obviously music is a preferred stimuli. Taking the musical cue, her mom and I began singing along and I added a couple of hops to the singing. We sang, hopped, threw the Dynamax ball and some Sandbells, sang some more and completed the session on, yes, I’m going to write it…a good note. Ugh, awful pun comedy. Point being we did not abandon the situation. Pairing known reinforcers with new or potentially aversive/challenging activities (in my case exercise) is how to introduce and maintain a successful program.
I also took the last pictures needed for the first Autism Fitness E-Book. Here are some sneak peek pics:
Finally, this upcoming Sunday, October 18th will be my Autism Fitness Workshop for Dads through the NY Metro Chapter of the National Autism Association. The workshop will be in Central park (67th and 5th entrance) from 2-4pm. For more info, CLICK HERE or visit www.naanyc.org