My name is Chris and I am 21 years old.
I have Autism and a moderate to severe intellectual disability.
My goal for my physical health is to engage in regular weekly exercise and physical activity. This is because I know physical activity is good for my health and will assist in avoiding preventable lifestyle conditions in the future that are associated with not moving enough.
My Exercise Physiologist’s (EP) name is Helen.
I find it hard communicating with people and therefore found it difficult to understand what Helen was asking me to do. This was hard for me at first so my mum helped Helen understand.
As we got to know each other better, Helen realised that I didn’t respond well to lots of words but instead, it is better to use gestures, physical prompts and demonstrations when communicating with me.
I also don’t like loud noises and bright lights so find exercising one-on-one with Helen best. Helen takes things slowly and gives me a chance to get used to change.
I am very good at counting to 10!
I can do an exercise for 10 seconds and understand that I stop after 10 seconds. This structure helps me a lot.
Using pictures of exercises helps me to figure out which exercise to do next! I am also encouraged to help with packing up and I have an eye for detail – like when Helen leaves something behind.
I also like running!
Since starting my sessions I have well and truly achieved my goal – I have been seeing Helen every week now for 18 months and am enjoying every bit!
I have improved my posture heaps and with Helen’s help have learnt to use an exercise bike and a treadmill and learnt how to use new exercise equipment to help to make me stronger like dumbbells and therabands (see my picture).
Although not an original goal, I have loved exercising so much that I have started doing some exercise at my local gym. This is a big achievement!