Research has found that children with autism are at or above the same risk of becoming overweight or obese³⁴. Variables specific to Autism Spectrum Disorder include disordered sleep patterns, motor planning difficulties, possible genetic variations, medication side effects, dietary restrictions (preferences, limitations), and commonly using food as a reinforcer for some programming³⁴.
Given that the risks are higher for weight-related issues in children with ASD, it is even more important that exercise be incorporated as part of their daily routines. However, because each individual’s sensorimotor planning, coordination, and language skills are unique, exercise habits are necessary to directly teach, model, and reinforce regularly.
In our article published in Autism Parenting Magazine, we explore ways to engage your child with autism in exercise that feeds his/her sensory systems and individualized learning needs so that they can be as healthy as possible!