Keeping kids moving

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For some children, exercising can be intimidating and challenging. It may mean encouraging them to test their comfort level, perform activities that aren’t in their skill set, or perhaps just encouraging the thought of putting down the video games and getting active.
For autistic children, the situation becomes even more challenging. But personal trainer Nathan Vandenbroek is breaking through the barriers with his business A Dramatic Change. Vandenbroek, or “Mr. Nathan” – as the kids call him, has been working in schools for the past five months, engaging both the minds and bodies of autistic children.
The exercises he implements are simple, but force the kids to think about the movements. For example, one activity includes touching the right hand to the left foot during stretching.  Most of the exercises are just a way to get the children moving while still engaging their brains. 
Vandenbroek teaches four groups for a half hour each at the Autism Model School on Monday mornings. But to ensure that these students continue to stay active, he provides written lesson plans to the teachers so they can continue instruction throughout the week.
Why does Vandenbroek do it? He enjoys helping the kids and feels that autistic childrens’ lack of exercise is a problem that is often overlooked. This program is set up especially to fit their needs.
“Opening this door allows for interests and activity,” Vandenbroek said, “and it’s an opportunity for them to function as a typical active child.”
For more information visit www.adramaticchange.com or e-mail him at nathan@adramaticchange.com.