Exercises for Kids with Autism – And Everyone

A smart mom friend of mine who used to be a reporter at The New York Times told me about the new book, Super Body, Super Brain, by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace. He is a personal trainer who has collaborated with neuroscientists to develop a series of research-based exercises that encourage connections between different regions of the brain. Says neurobiogist John H. Martin, Ph.D., in the book’s Forword: “Michael’s program is not only highly aerobic, but cognitive as well, in that it requires the participant to learn and perform complex movements. The Super Body, Super Brain program is a particularly efficient way to improve brain functions as it makes us more agile and fit.”

My friend knows about it because Michael works with her daughter, who has autism. He also runs programs for kids in New York City schools. She told me: “Michael’s workout would be beneficial to all children, but I have found it to be critical for children who have developmental disabilities. Children with autism are often so busy with therapy that they don’t have the opportunity to get the exercise they need—and on top of that, many children don’t have good awareness of their bodies in space. My daughter has become more grounded, more focused, and more in control of her body since she began working with Michael. She now runs like the wind, and is then able to settle herself to meditate. For a child with autism, these are huge steps.”

The exercises can help kids who have autism and other special needs strengthen motor skills, hand-eye coordination, balance, multitasking, and sensory integration. “I wanted to make it fun for children to be improving in all those areas with their parents,” says Michael. Click here to see a video clip.

The progressive series of exercises take just 10 minutes per day. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m very intrigued—and my husband is now eager to start the program. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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