FAQS - What Are Simple At-Home Exercises for Autistic Kids

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As Director of the ASD Fitness Program at 92Y in New York, and in my private practice, I work with children on the autism spectrum who are ages three to 18. Exercise “homework” is an important part of the programs, and I often recommend simple gross motor activities like these.

Walking the line

All you need for these exercises is some tape on the floor or rug. Make a game of these tasks. Be sure to offer encouragement and make it fun. Offer appropriate rewards (never food!)

Have the child practice walking a straight line on the tape. Then progress through walking:

  • heel, toe

  • heel toe with hands on hips

  • hands out to the side, level with shoulders

  • holding arms straight in front at shoulder level

  • holding arms straight in front at shoulder level

  • hands straight up above their head.

  • Next hand them a ball and have them walk with it in their hands

  • Bring the ball to chest, straight out in front, back to chest.

No Special Equipment Needed

Many exercises you can do at home with your child don’t require any special equipment. These include movements like:

  • Jumping

  • Catching and throwing a ball

  • Marching around the room and the house

  • Balancing on a throw pillow

Inexpensive Equipment

There is a lot of equipment that costs from $12 - $50 that you can use at home to help a child move and improve.

Bosu Balls help strengthen muscles, improve posture, balance and core stability.  Here’s an article with some exercises to work up to with a Bosu Ball.

An inexpensive Stability disc will help improve ab strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. They also can be used as Sensory Cushions children can sit on.