Why it may be more difficult for individuals with ASD to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Rigidity, sensory sensitivities, coordination difficulties, and sleep dysfunction often go together with an autism diagnosis. They present their own challenges, but these symptoms can also put a child at risk for being overweight or obese and for diabetes or heart disease later as an adult. Although eating a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, and good sleep habits can be hard for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there are strategies parents can use to help […]

My Belly Has Two Buttons

by Meikele “Lee” Needles I dreamed of being a mom. I wanted to be a good mom like my mother. Happy, gentle, and supportive of me just as I was…but would do whatever needed to protect my baby. What a premonition of my future! And I had no idea what was in store. I met, married and we started our Family in Helena, Montana. Our first Daughter was normally active and even advanced in a lot […]

The Challenge of Physical Fitness for People with Autism

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network ian@kennedykrieger.org You’ve probably seen the headlines: studies say that children and adults with autism are at risk for an inactive lifestyle and obesity. While the reasons are subject to debate, it’s clear that people with ASD often face unique challenges to physical fitness. The core features of autism – social, communication and behavior problems – can make joining a game of kickball at recess or playing tag with neighborhood kids […]

10,000 Steps Versus Exercise

THE FITNESS PRIORITY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT Remember that you are also setting an example for your children. Demonstrating healthy habits will teach kids to incorporate these activities as they grow. You may have heard about the studies that show sitting is worse for your health than smoking, and to combat this, getting a certain number of steps in per day is recommended. Our occupations are more sedentary than they used to be, and our […]

Let’s Talk About STRESS

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT Don’t wait! Get moving – even if only for 10 minutes! It will help manage your stress, and decrease depression and anxiety. It seems like we are getting busier by the year, and less equipped to handle the load. Everything is moving faster, we have devices that imply we are available at any time, and this has resulted in a blurring of the distinct lines where work […]