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HFA, teens and exercise

(14 Posts)
finnishbiscuiteater Sun 10-Jul-16 17:06:46


Another week, another HFA question smile

ANyone got any great methods for getting teenage boys with higher functioning autism to exercise?

DS1 hates team sports, hates the noise in swiming pools & gyms, falls over when he runs, cant catch or kick a ball etcc etc.

He hates consoles (as he builds his own PC's) so wont do wii fit.

He hated wearing a fitbit (the feel of it on his arm) - but that may have been linked of the policy I was trying of him having to do 10,000 steps before computer time.

He was doing a sport that he loved (climbing) , but after major surgery folloiwng an accident, he can't face going back and building the strength up again. I know he's happier and healthier when he exercises, but I can't seem to win the argument.

I should just knucle down and enforce it, shouldn't I? Anyone got any fab ideas on what sport I should make him do?

zzzzz Sun 10-Jul-16 17:13:11

Ds likes both stepping machines and rowing machines. They are VERY rhythmic and stimmy.

I always thought swimming would be our thing but ds can only doggy paddleconfused. I just thought a swim team would provide a loose social group and the training is solitary and very routine.

finnishbiscuiteater Sun 10-Jul-16 19:13:46

Thanks zzzz,

Do You have them at home, or does he brave the gym?

zzzzz Sun 10-Jul-16 19:23:39

At the moment it's only trips to John Lewis and school but I will be saving up for one or the other for Christmas if he keeps liking it as it really is age appropriate exercise. I am also convincing myself that when he is older he might manage a gymn if he could just plug in to different machines.
My ds is HF in the technical sense (ie he is cleverer than the average guy) but he is unlikely to live independently so I am constantly looking for possible places for him to go once he is adult and trying to start building them into his life now.

Lots seem to fit in martial arts classes. Would he manage normal rowing on a river?

knittingwithnettles Sun 10-Jul-16 20:33:55

Ds2 will walk places if I don't drive him there....doesn't walk for the sake of it, but I can tie it into wanting to get to certain places (although he complains of being tired almost immediately)

He also likes running if it involves any sort of medal, stamina rather than an actual "race", so we found mini marathons quite good for that, Ik leading to 5k. Ds2 is a terrible runner, very poor running action, quite slow, but he likes the idea of marathons or formal running where you get commended for just finishing. Then he became more interested in running machines and beating his own time.

Tennis has also been a hit but you have to be prepared to be his tennis partner, unless you can find someone of the same level who is prepared to do rallies, ds is not good at tennis but he enjoys the game nevertheless, especially after watching Wimbledon. Ditto Badminton, which you can play with him in the back garden if you have one, and with which ds2 has improved his hand to eye coordination. I would say ping pong is too fast and too noisy.

knittingwithnettles Sun 10-Jul-16 20:36:37

Ds2 has been able to do far more sport whilst home educated because he is not competing with his peers in most of the sporty groups but with a wide range of ages. I think most of the problem is doing team games with those who are always better is very demoralising, whereas team games with mixed ability is a much more fun and motivating way to exercise, ie younger children or kinder children!

youarenotkiddingme Sun 10-Jul-16 20:56:06

What about roller blading or scootering? Excercises can be anything really that raises the heart rate.

Tennis can be played alone off of a wall, or running around a field with a frisbee.

My DS actually swims with a club. I find club training sessions are quieter than the leaisure centres own run sessions.

knittingwithnettles Sun 10-Jul-16 22:49:03

Ds2 has also done Judo, but it was very inclusive class, again mixed age, and understanding Sensei. He has suddenly announced he doesn't want to do it now though, there is quite a lot of physical rough and tumble and he suddenly found it all a bit much. But I think in different circs (partly time pressures/transport) it would have continued to be an excellent form of exercise for him, building confidence and strength, and physical stamina (they did running and pressups as well as Judo itself)

zzzzz Sun 10-Jul-16 23:00:43

I forgot the scooter! We have a "dirt scooter" sort of jcb like with big wheels and goes over rough ground. I take him to one of those bike pump circuits when it's quiet.

troutsprout Mon 11-Jul-16 01:51:23

Indoor /outdoor trampoline?

finnishbiscuiteater Mon 11-Jul-16 07:46:41

Thank you all, some great ideas.

I'd love him to do Judo, he just finds the echoing halls way too much. I could try to find a very calm dojo... Noise is his main sensitivity, followed by smells, so any kind of collective sports is tricky!

We could both do with getting fitter, so the tennis may be a good idea! I think he'll think scooters are beneath him (he's 15, and scootered a lot in junior school)

The main problem is that he's convinced that he doesn't need to do any exercise, because he hates it. I wish he'd been allowed to skip PE - It's never done him any good, the PE teacher is a massive arse to him, and its put him off sports for life.

Which I'm sure is not meant to be the outcome, but there you go.

Trampoline could be the solution...

knittingwithnettles Mon 11-Jul-16 08:12:22

The noise thing can be worse when you are beginning an activity and you are not very good at it, once you get through that, the activity itself can be bribery or positive reinforcement to get through the first stages of starting a new form of exercise. Map reading/discovering public transport is a another thing ds quite enjoyed to get him walking - he would walk to nearest tube to try out the route. Chasing small children was another positive way to get him running around! A bicycle in a green space was also just about bearable - but again required parental input to get bike to green space and bicycle alongside to start with. I am very dyspraxic, sensory processing issues, and I used to love bicycling freedom wind in hair whizzing along, solo swimming and rowing, and hated all team sports with a passion and things like running/competitive swimming

Ineedmorepatience Mon 11-Jul-16 11:28:06

Dd3 does Kayaking/SUP boarding, its not a team game but its quite social now she knows lots of people at the club. We can stay with her but on the side or take a canoe out on the lake.

She loves anythig water related but much prefers out doors so we go wild swimming and to the beach as much as possible bearing in mind we live about as far from the sea as we possibly could in the uk!!

Ineedmorepatience Mon 11-Jul-16 11:29:19

Meant to say she enjoys scooting too but will only go in the skatepark if no one else is there!

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