From New Years' resolutions to your favorite social media influencers/models pages, fitness has become one of the most talked about and looked at topics globally. However, individuals with Autism sometimes are not included in those conversations. It's not that they have the inability to exercise, it's just that not a lot of people are willing to assist them. Personal trainer, Chad Hooker, is.
It all started when a parent had approached Hooker and asked if he could assist in personal sessions with a friend's son who is on the Autism Spectrum. Hooker agreed to help and "never looked back." Fast-forward to today and Hooker is the founder and head trainer for Puzzle Piece Athletics, an organization that provides exercise programs for children and young adults diagnosed with autism and other special abilities.
The significance of this initiative clearly helps in bridging the gap between society and the neuro-diverse community. Individuals with Autism do not need a professional support worker with a background in Autism to assist them in physical activity, they need a program where a facilitator or trainer can communicate and motivate them in friendly ways. In addition, exercise consists of routines, which those on the spectrum tend to enjoy having. Through videos and pictures, it is clearly evident that Puzzle Piece Athletics have implemented effective strategies in working with those on the spectrum in many more ways.
Exercise offers benefits far beyond physical improvement, primarily health. For many individuals, it's easy to get up off the couch and go for a run, do some sit-ups, or hit the gym. However, for those diagnosed with Autism, sometimes it may not be that simple. Fortunately, there are people in the world, like Chad Hooker, that take initiative and continuously spread Autism awareness and acceptance in a variety of ways to ensure that those with Autism are treated as equals.
Thank you Chad.