New York Medical College Study Suggests Benefits of Exercise for Children with Autism

Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families

Researchers at New York Medical College recently administered a 4-month exercise program at a school to determine whether the physical activity would have an impact on children with autism. The program was part of an adaptive gym class that consisted of two 20-minute classes each week.

While it was not possible for researchers to make a comprehensive analysis, due to the challenge of studying “populations of children with autism in real-world settings like schools,” the results did suggest improvements in both fitness and communication skills.

“[Researchers] found that a 4-month exercise program led to significant improvements in scores on a measure of social responsiveness, as well as gains in physical endurance.”

Children with autism often face challenges with physical fitness for a variety of reasons. For example, if your child struggles with communication or is nonverbal, he or she may struggle to join a group of peers playing tag or soccer. Many children on the autism spectrum can also have challenges with motor skills like balance and coordination, making physical activities more difficult.

At Peak Potential Therapy, we encourage all of the children with autism or other special needs to remain as active as possible, depending on their unique abilities. Whether it is dancing or playing games like Simon Says indoors, or going on a walk or visit to the local playground, there are many ways you can include exercise in your regular routine year-round. We are also proud to lead camps designed especially for children with special needs to help you give your child fun and active opportunities during breaks from school. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact our team.