Author: Dr. Kurt Woeller
would like to talk to you today about the role exercise can play for your child with Autism. Recently there has been some new information out about the role exercise has to play in depression. For those who get regular exercise, they have found that their depressive issues were reduced up to 45% which is a significant amount and that regular exercise is defined as at least 30 minutes per day and for 3 to 5 days per week. These are very significant findings, especially in light of the fact that our primary treatment for depression in this country is through anti-depressive medications. So again, simple aerobic exercise of 30 minutes a day and 3 to 5 days per week can make a big impact on depression.
I have seen some similar things with children in my practice with Autism as well. The children who tend to get more regular exercise tend to function more appropriately. This can be different for each child but they can have better behavior, better attention, less anxiety, better focusing, etc. And children have so many options in terms of ways to get exercise. A trip to the park is an excellent way to get your child moving, they can run around and play on the equipment, jumping, climbing and swinging. Just being physically active is going to be great for them so things like riding their bike or swimming can also be great activities. In general, I just encourage parents to take advantage, especially summer time with the longer days, and let their children go outside and play in the natural sun light and the fresh air. They should be encouraged to run, play and explore if it is something that they seem open to. It is so common nowadays to have children stay inside most of the time either stuck on the computer, or stuck watching movies or playing video games. Therapy sessions can also take up many hours in the day for a child with Autism. Once their therapy sessions are done they can then be hyper, anxious, agitated and have trouble sleeping. Making a small lifestyle change to include exercise can make a world of difference for your child. A nightly walk after dinner can be very helpful even, and remember, it is not just all about supplements, it is not just about medications and it is not just about diets. Many children with Autism benefit from physical exertion and physical exercise as a way to set the tone for a better attitude and a better mental state.
About the author:
Don't let ANYONE tell you there is nothing you can do to help your child. Autism really is treatable! Start your child down the road to recovery from autism