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Calming Down.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, mom of four and creator of The Mom Kind, a site that is reflective of her mission to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for the future generations of autistic individuals. She wrote a couple months ago on the topic of calming down. She wrote a blog entry titled, "3 Exercises to Promote Calming Down for Autistic Children," to provide some examples of techniques that her readers can use to calm their child down in instances of them feeling overwhelmed, over-excited, or more energetic than normal. Before starting these exercises you should: consult a specialist before starting any exercise program for your child, start the exercise slowly and monitor any signs of fatigue or dizziness, or shortness of breath that might come about during the activities, ensure your child is well-rested and hydrated, and start with low-intensity exercises first and work up to the more intense movements later. The first exercise your child can do to let loose or work out some energy is Bear Crawls. This exercise will help develop your child's body awareness, improve motor planning, and coordination. It will also work your kids' muscles and strengthen their upper body. Have your child kneel on all fours with their hands under their shoulders and knees under the hips. Next, they should extend their legs until their knees are slightly bent. Their hands should be flat on the floor with their fingers spread out to optimize contact with the floor. Have them walk back and forth across the floor for 10-20 minutes, switching direction and speed as the go. Next, try star jumps, which is a good jumping task that will engage the child's full body. This movement can help improve cardiovascular endurance, increase body awareness, and strengthen the core and the legs. Your child will begin this exercise by bending into a squatting position with their legs bent, feet flat on the ground, and arms tucked inward toward their chest. Ask them to jump quickly from this squatting position. Their arms and legs should extend wide into an X, landing at the starting position each time they jump; they can repeat this about 20 times, or until they get tired. Lastly, you can try mirror exercises, which will help your child practice interacting with others by getting them to mimic what the other person is doing. This will help in increasing coordination, social skills, and body awareness. You can begin this exercise by having your child stand facing a designated partner; make sure their hands are by their side. The partner should start making slow movements with their arms, starting off simple at first and then moving into more complex patterns. Then, ask your child to mimic these patterns, offering feedback when necessary by touching their hands or indicating when it is their turn to go. Repeat this for about one or two minutes and then add more body parts into the mix; repeat this exercise three to five times. You don't have to do these every day or all at one time, but they are good exercises to have on hand for when you need to focus on a certain behavior, whether that be re-gaining control, just letting out some energy, or practicing for an upcoming social setting. Everybody needs something to do to redirect their energy at times, so even engaging in these exercises with your child may help you too.

https://www.themomkind.com/3-calming-exercises-for-autistic-children/


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