gymnastics

definition of gymnastics: Gymnastics is a sport that involves strength and balance. Gymnastics athletes compete in events known as the balance beam, uneven bars, floor exercise, vault, pommel horse, and high bar. Gymnastics may also include trampoline skills, sports aerobics, and rope climbing. The Special Olympics hosts local gymnastic competitions for people with special needs.

Organization Provides Recreational and Social Activities for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

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Autism Families CONNECTicut was started by parents looking for recreational and social activities for their youngsters with autism.

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Autism Families CONNECTicut was started by parents looking for recreational and social activities for their youngsters with autism. They offer gymnastics, swimming, running, and Friday night teen programs. All activities are under supervision of an occupational therapist or other clinician. This means that kids learn motor skills and relation skills in addition to having a good time. In addition to youth activities, the organization provides a support network for parents, and activities for siblings. Jackie Procyk, one of the founders explained, “For me, I have a greater sense of community now and friendships and people I know I can call on.”

YMCA Shows it Cares About Kids with Autism

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The Greater Pittston YMCA (PA) recently launched a program called Children with Autism Receiving Extra Support (C.A.R.E.S.).

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The Greater Pittston YMCA (PA) recently launched a program called Children with Autism Receiving Extra Support (C.A.R.E.S.). The program focuses on one-on-one or group swimming and gymnastics. Kids with autism learn tumbling skills and water-safety. Craig Lukatch, CEO of the Y, explained, “This amazing program is allowing children with ASD to become more comfortable in the water and learn balancing techniques with gymnastics.” Families receive free membership to the YMCA along with the C.A.R.E.S. program. The Earthly Angels Autism Fund of the Luzerne Foundation funds the membership fees for families with autism.

Children with Autism Use Ballet to Improve Skills

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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center speech therapy students and Ballet Lubbock’s Erica Barhorst have joined forces to teach ballet to kids with autism.

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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center speech therapy graduate students, Katelyn Rich and Amanda Tinney, and Ballet Lubbock’s Erica Barhorst, have joined forces to teach ballet to kids with autism. Barhorst, a dancer and psychology major at Tech, used her skills in ballet and her interest in autism movement therapy, to teach 6-10 year olds ballet. Barhorst stated, “I had been doing research for my thesis about therapeutic benefits of dance and I came across autism – dance movement therapy in particular.” Sherry Sancibrian, speech and language professor, coordinated the effort with the other graduate students. She suggested that ndividual sports like dance, track, gymnastics, swimming and martial arts may be more helpful for children with autism because there is less social interaction required than in team sports, such as football or baseball.

Operation Jack and Train 4 Autism Raise Money for Autism Awareness

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Sam Felsenfeld, the father of a son with autism, has committed to running a marathon a week to raise money for autism awareness.

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Sam Felsenfeld, the father of a son with autism, has committed to running a marathon a week to raise money for autism awareness. Train 4 Autism, a national group that helps athletes train while raising money for the autism charity of their choice, helped Sam with his plans. Operation Jack, named for Felsenfeld’s son, is his grass-roots attempt to develop awareness about autism and, at the same time, spread the word about Train 4 Autism. What makes Sam’s goals really special is that he broke his neck when he was 16 and was not supposed to walk again. While Sam trains and runs, Jack spends his days in a special education first grade, occupational therapy, and for fun, gymnastics. Because Jack is working hard 50 hours a week, Sam figured he could let people know about Jack and all the other kids like him.

Brainasium: A Place for Children with Autism to Get Gymnastics for Their Brains

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Brainasium, in Granite Bay, California, allows children with autism and ADHD to practice gymnastics with their brains.

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Brainasium, in Granite Bay, California, allows children with autism and ADHD to practice gymnastics with their brains. The "gym" at Brainasium resembles a room full of children receiving play therapy, but in fact, the exercises help kids with left-right brain issues, core strength, balance, and organization. Many of the "exercises" help with visual processing issues. For example, the obstacle course teaches children fine and gross motor skills that have been found to help with math, handwriting, speech, and  communication.

Child with Autism is On the Beam

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After early intervention, including speech, physical, and occupational therapies, Cierra discovered she had a talent for tumbling. 

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After early intervention, including speech, physical, and occupational therapies, Cierra discovered she had a talent for tumbling. Her parents enrolled the young girl with autism in the Oshkosh (WI) Gymnastics Center where she excels at bar, beam, vault, and floor events. Her parents say the gymnastics is like therapy for Cierra; it provides her with discipline and social interaction.

After early intervention, including speech, physical, and occupational therapies, Cierra discovered she had a talent for tumbling. 

Youth Athletes Program Offered by Special Olympics

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Kids with autism in Maryland have the opportunity to participate in Special Olympics Youth Athletes Program initiative.

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Kids with autism in Maryland have the opportunity to participate in Special Olympics Youth Athletes Program initiative. For about 2 years, the Youth Athletes program, offered by Special Olympics, has brought parents and children together to work on occupational, social, and speech skills in an environment of sports. At the Frederick (MA) Gymnastics Club, children interact with peers, and even participate in mainstream gymnastic activities.

Kids with autism in Maryland have the opportunity to participate in Special Olympics Youth Athletes Program initiative.

Pathways & STAR Ready Preschoolers with Autism for School Sports

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Pathways and STAR (Sports and Therapeutic Accessible Recreation) in Nantucket, use physical activities to help youngsters with autism.

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Pathways and STAR (Sports and Therapeutic Accessible Recreation) in Nantucket, use physical activities to help youngsters with autism. Activities include: walking along a sensory trail; therapeutic horseback riding; and sign language. Renee Gamberoni, an occupational therapist (OT) created STAR so that "kids with profound special needs could participate in dance, martial arts, gymnastics, sports and art, and get one-on-one attention and coaching."

Pathways and STAR (Sports and Therapeutic Accessible Recreation) in Nantucket, use physical activities to help youngsters with autism.

Gymnastics Helps Student with Autism

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Nikki Gutman, a 10 year old with autism, is an accomplished gymnast. She excels on uneven bars, vault, balance beam, and floor exercises.

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Nikki Gutman, a 10 year old with autism, is an accomplished gymnast. She excels on uneven bars, vault, balance beam, and floor exercises. Nikki began her training in therapeutic gymnastics at BIG FUN Therapy and Recreational Services in Culver City, CA. She now competes with a professional team at the State level.

Nikki Gutman, a 10 year old with autism, is an accomplished gymnast. She excels on uneven bars, vault, balance beam, and floor exercises.

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