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OUTDOOR ADVENTURE PROGRAMS & AUTISM: WHAT PARENTS & CARERS NEED TO KNOW

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been increasing in prevalence over the years and we are constantly making new discoveries that inform the way we deliver support to participants. OpentraX is one of the leading service providers in this area with their innovative and personalised approach to care utilising the power of the great outdoors and nature to it’s greatest potential.

Through their mobile exercise programs, Chris and his team are working with NDIS participants living with ASD, to achieve some impressive personal outcomes. As the number of cases diagnosed increases, so too does the need for programs, practitioners and service providers to adapt to accommodate the increasing number of participants. OpentraX delivers a holistic model of care that improves the health and well-being of those living with ASD by building their capacity physically, mentally and socially.[/column_text][empty_space height=”22px”][edgtf_blockquote text=”Significantly improves participants mental wellbeing, social connection opportunities and boosts their capacity for activities of daily living and life!”][empty_space height=”25px”]Research strongly supports the many benefits that exercise can provide for people with autism.  Opentrax’ highly trained Exercise Physiologists develop effective exercise interventions, including individually tailored programs for adolescents (from 14 yo) and adults with ASD.

They offer to run these sessions in a place most comfortable to you, such as your home, your local gym, or a nearby park. Those in the know, know that exercise is critical to managing ASD symptoms. Exercise (in many different forms – check out all the OpentraX programs) significantly improves participants mental wellbeing, social connection opportunities and boosts their capacity for activities of daily living and hobbies etc.[/column_text][single_image image=”13532″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][empty_space height=”25px”][edgtf_blockquote text=”The adventure begins at the end of the roads you know. OpentraX will show you the way from there!”][empty_space height=”22px”]Despite the overwhelming evidence that  highlights the importance of exercise for managing autism, people with ASD (on average) still do far less physical activity than their peers. Studies show that more than half of us (55% of Aussies) already don’t get enough exercise. Leading an inactive lifestyle has been shown to significantly increase your risk of developing preventable health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a number of other chronic health conditions.

At around 30 years of age, hormones begin their natural steady decline which can lead to a decrease in bone density (more brittle), muscle mass (weaker, low endurance) and poor immune system.  OpentraX performs their initial assessment that investigates the current health priorities of a participant, which they use to develop a tailor-made program designed to address problem areas, boost general wellbeing and counteract these natural declines to help make them more gradual.[/column_text][empty_space height=”25px”][edgtf_blockquote text=”OpentraX develops a tailor-made program designed to address participant goals, boost general wellbeing, mental health and counteract sedentary behaviours at the core.”][single_image image=”13530″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][empty_space height=”22px”][edgtf_section_title title_text=”WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU” icon_pack=”font_awesome” fa_icon=””][empty_space height=”22px”]Our Exercise Physiologists are specially trained to work with ASD participants and have a wealth of first-hand experience.

We all know activity and exercise is good for us, but it may be even more beneficial for individuals with autism. OpentraX specialises in identifying specific interests, hobbies or likes for each participant and leverages these to make their experience maximally rewarding. There is increasing evidence to support additional benefits for ASD than just physical health. These include:

better emotional regulation and attention

improvements in behaviour (e.g reductions in stereotypical and repetitive behaviours)

increased social behaviour and communication skills

Balance, postural stability, gait, joint flexibility, coordination and movement speed are often more challenging for those with autism. These challenges can be reduced by increasing levels of physical activity. 

Motor improvements lead to better:

overall physical endurance (e.g strength and aerobic fitness)

independence and function for daily tasks

self-confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of normalcy

[/column_text][single_image image=”13545″ img_size=”large”][empty_space height=”22px”][edgtf_blockquote text=”Adventure isn’t hanging off a rope on the side of a mountain or living among lions. Adventure is an attitude to experience everyday things.”][empty_space height=”22px”][edgtf_section_title title_text=”WHAT TO CONSIDER” icon_pack=”font_awesome” fa_icon=””][empty_space height=”22px”]People with autism face a number of unique barriers to being active. These include sensory challenges and differences with information processing. They may also exhibit a lack of confidence due to motor-control, coordination or proprioception difficulties. Parents, carers and those close to participants know them best and can help with specific details during the assessments or sessions. Our practitioners are highly experienced working with many different types of disabilities and needs levels.[/column_text][empty_space height=”22px”][edgtf_section_title title_text=”HOW TO GET STARTED” icon_pack=”font_awesome” fa_icon=””][empty_space height=”22px”][single_image image=”13520″ img_size=”large”]If you or someone you know has autism, it’s worth connecting them with one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP). Our AEPs are highly experienced allied health professionals that have the expertise to prescribe appropriate exercise for autism. We ensure participants aren’t overdoing it or training themselves into imbalances or injury; and set them up with rock solid, scientific evidence based programs that help them achieve their goals. We understand the perceived barriers to physical activity in those with ASD, and can provide a safe and specific exercise program and report on improvements over time through our re-assessments. These reports are helpful when it comes to NDIS plan review time. Most participants are able to receive the funding again plusa bit extra because they can now show specific improvements and results relating to their goals which supports their spending.

Our AEP’s consider the following when prescribing exercise for those with ASD:

common co-morbidities such as ADHD, obesity and epilepsy

medication side-effects and implications to exercise

stage of motor development to target appropriate exercise interventions

cognitive ability and learning style to enhance motor skills and control

[/column_text][empty_space height=”22px”][edgtf_blockquote text=”If the world thinks you’re not good enough, it’s a lie, you know. Get a second opinion.”][empty_space height=”22px”][single_image image=”13547″ img_size=”large”][edgtf_section_title title_text=”WE’RE A LITTLE DIFFERENT TOO” icon_pack=”font_awesome” fa_icon=””][empty_space height=”22px”]Initially, a session may not always look like a ‘traditional’ exercise routine. Movement modifications are made to support the individual’s needs, and also – to make it FUN! The program’s director, Chris Higgins, was a physical education, maths and science teacher before becoming a clinical exercise physiologist and has found a way through OpentraX to blend the two in a unique way benefiting NDIS participants with ASD.

It’s important for people to work with an AEP who has an understanding of ASD – so don’t just find any old Exercise Physiologist or unqualified Personal Trainer. All of our Exercise Physiology services delivered by an AEP can be funded by the NDIS, under ‘Capacity Building – Improved health and wellbeing’.

We cap the number of participants that each of our AEP’s work with to ensure they have capacity to prioritise each individual and give them the time and attention they deserve.

Our clients are our number one concern, and we are committed to delivering the best outcome for our clients.[/column_text][/column][/row]

https://opentrax.com.au/team/chris-higgins/

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