Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Motor Planning and Autism


Clues into non-verbal autism can be found by observing how we move. It is obvious that moving in certain ways is difficult for us. It is easy to be idle when your body frustrates, but we must fight that. My exercising has helped me a lot, though I am far from my goals. In exercising I struggle with many things, but one of the most challenging is doing different upper and lower body movements at the same time. My body will do one or the other. It takes all my concentration to just do the legwork if the movement is even a little complicated. If you add in arms to my steps, I need to stop my feet. This is an obstacle in sports, as you can imagine. In sports you need to run and catch (or whatever). I can’t do that at all. I run or I catch. Period. If I work out and I march in place and then I have to do arm lifts with hand weights at the same time, my brain sort of thinks, “huh?”

The ability to do different actions, arms and legs, is something most people take for granted. It is very frustrating to fight your body the way we do. Some people with autism are frail. Some are soft. But we all need to work on our movements and muscle development. In autism it is the disconnect between our intentions and movements that is so challenging.

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