Exercise for those with special needs through my experience
7 months ago, our Personal Training Director asked me if I was willing to train a group of autistic children. At the time, I knew that I would be stepping way out of my comfort zone but that I wanted to do it. Today, I am so happy that I said yes to working with that specific group of young adults, as it has taught me so much as a personal trainer and a person.
Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned since we started working together:
- I quickly learned that, just like everybody else, they are all unique in their own ways. No two special needs persons are the same just because they have similar abilities or needs. They all have their own character traits that make them the awesome person that they are.
- It is important to make a connection, a bond, a friendship with clients. Anyone can just go through the motions, but being able to pull out the best in them while also having fun makes it more worthwhile for everyone involved. Building these connections makes them look forward to the next session and I thrive on strengthening these bonds with them while trying to get to know them better.
- There is always a chance to learn more. It can be a challenge for them and for me, but that is what draws me in to working with these clients. I am constantly learning during every single session that I have with a special needs client. I am always very interested in learning about their behavior patterns. That can tell a lot about how a session may go sometimes.
I can honestly say that we have a lot fun when I train my special needs clients, but they also work very hard! I get so much joy in watching them grow and become better at what we are working on. There is something about seeing them improve that is so gratifying for me; I am able to watch them enjoy exercise and continue their development physically and mentally. I look forward to working with them and it is always a major highlight of my week. I am happy to say that special needs children and adults have become a niche of mine and I look forward to working with them more in the future.