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Neurodivergent kids are people who have differences in how their brains work. As such, there are activities that they might not be able to do, or may need to do differently. If you’re trying to help your neurodivergent kids to exercise, then you should know that there are several ways that you can help them. To get you started, here are a few ways that you can look into.
Purchase Essential Gear or Helping Tools
Neurodivergent kids may need additional support, as they may perform some regular activities, such as social skills and communication, differently from neurotypical children. So, they’ll need some attention and accomodations. Also, getting worried as a parent is natural, especially if it’s your first time letting your child be physically active. To ease your mind and keep your child safe, you can purchase equipment or gear to help them.
For neurodivergent people who know how to exericse, you can consider purchasing SBD Weightlifting Knee Sleeves to assist them with their workout routine. However, if your kid is a complete beginner, getting equipment to help them warm up, like trampolines, rowing machines, and the like, would also be a good choice.
Discover Various Exercises
The best way you can get your child to be interested in exercise is to lead by example. If you want them to start getting physically active, you can lead by being a role model. Furthermore, it would be best to discover various exercises that will allow them to move most of their muscles and improve their coordination, strength, and endurance. Here are a few exercises you can do with your kid to give you an idea of what you can try with your kid.
Hopscotch is a type of game that you can play with your child that will also allow them to move around. Its benefits include body control and dexterity, from balancing their body to hopping around the course. Aside from that, it will also help them to improve their gross motor skills, such as hopping, jumping, and running.
You don’t need any more fancy exercising tools for this, but you must keep a close eye on them in case they misstep and fall. If you have a space in your yard or you’re near a park, you can easily enjoy this.
Jumping Jacks is another basic exercise that you can perform with your kid. It’s an aerobic exercise that helps with their heart rate and improves their blood pressure.
Just stand upright with both your legs and arms at your sides. Then, bend your knees slightly and jump. Ensure to spread your legs as you jump and stretch your arms over your legs. After that, jump back to the starting position.
Jumping jacks don’t have a required amount of repetition, but you can gradually improve the number once they get used to it. Moreover, you don’t have to go far to do this exercise; you can do this perfectly at home.
Bear crawls are another type of exercise that doesn’t need special equipment but requires a good space to move around properly. This can be a bit complicated for your kid to perform perfectly. So, you’ll need to set an example and show them how to do it. You can start by standing on all fours, but keep your knees up an inch off the ground so they’re at a 90-degree angle.
Ensure your back stays flat and your limbs a leg and shoulder-width apart. After that, move your hand and the foot opposite of it forward. Ensure they’re at an equal distance while staying low to the ground while your back remains flat. Then, switch sides while keeping the same instructions in mind. You can repeat this several times until you are able.
Listen to What They Need
While exercising, it’s important to remember that although they’re physically active, children can also be easily overstimulated. Also, don’t forget that despite being under the same umbrella term, neurodivergent, every kid has unique needs. So, as mentioned, you must pay extra attention to them and use your judgment. As such, while you’re exercising, keep in mind to always listen and empathize with your child.
Whether you’re out with a fitness teacher or supporting them at home, always be their primary support. This means you should become their safe space without judgment. You should work on your misconception and focus on what your kid truly needs so that you can work with them without letting them get too overstimulated or stressed out.
Take a Rest
Like any other person, your kid will also need to take a rest after minutes of exercising. You might think that your kid didn’t work hard enough to rest as much as some regular people, but remember that rest will always be crucial. It doesn’t just help recover their muscles but also give them time to rest their mind and enjoy themselves.
This helps them de-stress and gain energy again to socialize with other people. Remember that exercising for them should be enjoyable and not something they should avoid.
Neurodivergent kids are still children who need to move their bodies to be well. Although there are some things that they aren’t capable of doing by themselves, they can still mostly do other regular stuff with help from an adult. The best thing you can do as their parent or guardian is to keep a close eye on them, introduce them to new things with care and empathy, and have fun together.