Teaching Movement To Special Needs Students

We have had the pleasure of working with five Power Plus youth over the last 4 months in a weekly fitness class on Thursday morning for an hour. It has been an incredible experience for us and we hope for them as well!

They walk to our studio and that is part of the experience -- staying safe, learning to pay attention to cars and what is happening around them, crossing the street and dealing with the weather.

Once they arrive at our studio, we focus on moving well and, when possible, getting outdoors to learn, practice and challenge them with natural human movement that our bodies are designed to do -- and a lot of it is so they can use it in their everyday life, including: walking, running, balancing, jumping, climbing, throwing, catching, lifting, carrying, crawling, rolling and dancing. 

We use the fitness tools inside the gym and what nature provides to us in River Park and Indian Run Falls, both walkable from our studio.

Our goal is for the students to gain practice and confidence in their movement quality and motor control, to have fun, and to express themselves physically in a fun and relaxed environment.

The students laugh and smile and follow directions from us well, even though sometimes their interpretation of movement is somewhat different based on what their bodies can do. 

When we head to the park, often one or more students are laughing in delight just to be out in nature!

We have seen the students gain more skill in all the movement areas, be more open to trying movements they might be fearful of, and to try, to the best of their ability, to practice the safe and efficient movement patterns we are teaching them.

As coaches, this has been a very rewarding experience. We are learning new ways to cue them, and all of our clients, thanks to what they are teaching us.

We use a mix of visual, verbal and tactile cues to teach them the movements and lifts.

We appreciate the different gifts and talents they bring and we seek to bring that out even more in our time together.

There are funny moments and moments of awe where a student displays a hidden talent or has an unexpected physical success.

It is an absolutely wonderful hour that we have together each week to explore what our bodies can do when challenged in a safe and nurturing environment.

I really appreciate Physical Therapist and Movement Coach Dustin Jones assisting with the class.

The Power Plus teacher, Diane Paige, is also a joy to work with and she helps us to be better coaches to the students as she is so familiar with each of their individual needs and habits.

We are honored to be work with the students and we look forward to continuing to teach them movement through the Power Plus school year.