More than half of the nation’s children with autism are overweight, at risk for diabetes or cardiovascular disease, have bone and joint problems or suffer from depression, anxiety and gastrointestinal problems. That alarming statistic was the impetus for a new exercise video for children with autism, hosted by nationally recognized fitness expert Suzanne Gray.
Gray, who is CEO of Right Fit Sports Fitness Wellness, Willowbrook, has spent more than 30 years developing fitness programs for children with special needs. Over time, she has seen how exercise works in addressing obesity, improving motor skills and muscle tone, eliminating self-destructive and self-stimulating behaviors and enhancing socialization skills for children with autism. The DVD, entitled, Raising the Bar: Fitness & Movement Exercises for Youth and Adults with Autism, was produced by Healthy Learning and is now available to order online at www.Amazon.com, www.Right-Fit.com and www.healthylearning.com.
The specific developmental exercises and movement activities featured in the DVD are included in Suzanne’s innovative “Raise the Bar©” program, which are included in the book 101 Games and Activities for Youth with Autism. Her program received the Club Industry “Best of the Best Award” in the category of “Best Children’s Fitness Program.”
“The DVD demonstrates specific exercises parents and teachers can do with their children every day,” says Gray. “A structured routine is essential to improving the muscular imbalances and compensations, deficient motor skills, poor posture and other fitness pitfalls common among youth with autism. When you combine a fitness program with music and play, it enhances the way a child with autism responds to sensory information and it will boost independence, happiness and self-esteem.”
ABOUT SUZANNE M. GRAY
Gray’s programs have been implemented by community centers, schools, and park districts across the country. They have been deployed at the nationally recognized Argonne National Laboratory and with several private and not-for-profit organizations, such as Charlie’s Gift, Hinsdale, IL; and Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, Naperville, IL. These organizations/schools support and bring awareness to special needs children who struggle with various issues, such as socialization, motor skills and obesity.
For more information on Suzanne M. Gray or Right-Fit, log on to www.Right-Fit.com, or www.suzannemgray.com.