Fitness for Kids & Youth with Autism or Intellectual Disabilities
Staying active has big benefits
By GoodLife Kids Foundation
April is World Autism Month; an opportunity to learn and celebrate individuals with autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or autism, is a complex neurological and developmental disorder that affects how a person acts, communicates, learns, and interacts with others. Often, kids and youth with autism can have trouble with communication, interactions with other people (social skills), restricted interests and repetitive behaviours.
For kids and youth with autism or intellectual disabilities, the path to getting active isn’t always as simple as joining the local sports team and in finding the best fit community program. They often face barriers to physical activity, including a higher cost for adapted programming, a lack of available programs and inaccessible environments. With these factors, it can be difficult for families to find a program that suits their child’s needs.
Kids and youth with autism or intellectual disabilities may require additional support to be able to participate in community programs such as, allowing them more time to learn rules; one-on-one supervision; and modified sports equipment, like softer balls, lower nets and smaller spaces. That’s why adapted programs are so important for kids and youth with autism or intellectual disabilities.
Being active is an important part of every child’s healthy development. It helps kids and youth physically – improving their strength, coordination, and flexibility – as well as socially and emotionally. Physical activity can provide opportunities to learn skills and traits like teamwork, empathy, and sharing.
If kids and youth with special needs require physical activity, just like everyone else, but are limited with what they can participate in, how can they get the recommended amount of physical activity? How can they lay the groundwork to a healthy life? And how can they learn that physical activity can be fun?
Enter GoodLife Kids Foundation
GoodLife Kids Foundation is dedicated to helping kids and youth with autism or intellectual disabilities thrive through physical activity and fitness. MOVE by GoodLife Kids is an adapted virtual physical activity and fitness program for kids and youth with autism or intellectual disabilities (aged 12-21).
GoodLife Kids Foundation introduced MOVE in 2020 to eliminate some of the barriers to participation that kids and youth with special needs face – such as higher cost for adapted programming, lack of available programs to suit individual needs, inaccessible environments, and isolation due to COVID-19. MOVE is being offered at no cost to families, and groups are kept small to ensure each participant gets a personalized and unique experience that works for them.
Breathe for GoodLife Kids yoga event coming April 30
Oxygen Yoga & Fitness and GoodLife Fitness will lead a one-day exclusive fundraising event, Breathe for GoodLife Kids, in support of MOVE by GoodLife Kids on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Proceeds from this event will be donated to the MOVE Program through the GoodLife Kids Foundation. Your donation will enable this program to be offered free, year-round to participating individuals.
Register today to secure your virtual spot! Minimum $10 donation required. Donations of $20 and above can receive a tax receipt.