Special Needs Children
Lil’ Munchkins teaches basic gymnastics to children ages walking to fifteen with high functioning disabilities such as: (autism, aspergers syndrome, ADD/ADHD, down syndrome and hearing impairements). Most children enjoy playing actively, and exercising in a group can be especially enjoyable for kids with developmental delays or other special needs. The social nature of gym classes helps kids to form bonds with other children, yet the exercises themselves are individual so kids are less likely to feel the need to impress their peers than they may in team sports. Studies have shown the benefits of gym for some autistic children, allowing them to get necessary activity and exercise while maintaining a sense of control over excessive stimulation. Autistic kids have difficulty when they are exposed to too much stimuli, but the solo nature of many gym events allows the kids to keep their environmental stimuli to a manageable level. With sensitive coaching and parental support, kids with autism and other special needs can gain confidence while getting fit and having fun. The program is designed to apply gross and fine motor skills as well as developing strength, coordination and body awareness through the use of equipment and a fun structured and safe environment. Not only will the child benefit from the classes, but parents will gain a support team through other parents, teachers and administrators. In each class we will encourage a positive outlook and building of support groups for families, who historically have been isolated due to the daily be haviors of these children. There is a great need in support of programs for these children who seem to fall through the cracks between typical children and the severely disabled.