The Five Components of Physical Fitness for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
For the past 20 years, it is documented, the way our children have been assessed in a physical education class has not changed.
But what has changed? Children are the most overweight in our countries history and they are battling more than weight, including heart disease, diabetes, learning disabilities and now autism spectrum disorders.
Children with autism spectrum disorders have unique needs and the current components of physical fitness do not meet their needs. Nor do they meet the needs of “normal” children.
It is time to educate our children, parents, educators and physicians about how exercise can help to not only reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, depression but also improve our children’s confidence, body awareness, motor planning on cognitive development.
1| Body ImageThe Concept of his/her body and its parts
2| PostureAny Position in which the body resides
3 | Motor CoordinationThe ability to use the sense, such as sight and hearing, together with body parts, in performing motor tasks smoothly and accurately.
4 | Muscular FitnessThe strength and endurance of the muscles.
5 | Cardiovascular FitnessThe efficiency of the heart, lungs, and vascular system in delivering oxygen to the working muscles so that prolonged physical work can be maintained.
The Five Components is a systematic approach to educating and designing exercise programs for children, schools and anyone involved in lives of children with autism spectrum disorders.
These components have similarities to the current physical education components, but, emphasize quality of movement, not quantity. They focus on the human body in its natural form while giving parents, educators and physicians exercises that are not only developmentally appropriate but cost effective.
With this approach children are not dependent on machines, saving, parents and schools thousands of dollars on equipment.
Our society will become better educated and understand the true meaning of being physically fit.
"The Five Components is a systematic approach to educating and designing exercise programs for children."