Related Services and Recess

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"]Playground Playground (Photo credit: phalinn)[/caption] As the number of children diagnosed as overweight or obese increases, and a growing amount of evidence points to physical activity as a means of managing symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, greater attention is being placed on recess and physical activity. Trends in leisure activities in young children, including video games and other stationary activities, as well as greater emphasis on academic activities in the schools, have resulted in fewer opportunities for movement. There is a wealth of information regarding the benefits of exercise, including the recent report, "Nation's kids need to get more physical." The Institute of Medicine is recommending that physical education become a core subject, and that schools allow daily opportunities for children to be physically active, for at least 60 minutes a day.

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Research Update: Disability and Autism

New Research Suggests Possible Direction for Treatment of Autism This exciting study, completed by researchers at USC-Irvine, and published in Behavioral Neuroscience, looked at the impact of a treatment called sensory-motor or environmental enrichment on the behavior of boys with autism (ages 3-12). The treatment involved twice-daily, parent-led sensory enrichment sessions, where the boys were encouraged to explore and manipulate a variety of sensory stimuli. The materials were low in cost, and addressed the senses of touch, sight, sound, and smell. Benefits were measured in behavior, cognition, and parent report of symptoms. It was interesting because this is considered a new therapy for autism, while being similar in activities to many "sensory diets" that are used in occupational therapy!

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