Kids Health & Developmental Difficulties

Cystic Fibrosis, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),  Dyslexia and other conditions.

The problem

Some children are slower to meet their developmental milestones or have difficulty keeping up with their peers. In addition to the challenges their condition poses, children and adolescents with chronic health and developmental difficulties are more likely to be sedentary or less active than other children. This can contribute to the development of secondary health conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. It can also contribute to mental health and mood disorders.

Who it affects

Children can be born with or develop a range of conditions which impact upon their health and well-being. Some common conditions include Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyspraxia and Dyslexia. This is not an exhaustive list but the good news is exercise has been shown to help many children who struggle to keep pace with their friends! Clinical exercise can help many of these kids achieve better health outcomes in both the short and long term.

Why see an Exercise Physiologist?

Exercise has been proven to help children with a variety of conditions or developmental difficulties in a host of ways. These can include improving co-ordination, strength, balance, cardiorespiratory fitness and bone health. Exercise has also been shown to improve self esteem, self confidence and mental health as well as sleeping habits, focus, concentration, behaviour and academic performance. Regular participation in physical activity can also reduce the risk of children developing conditions like cardiac disease, diabetes, depression and some cancers.

What type of exercise is involved?

It is recommended that children engage in more physical activity than adults. Children and adolescents aged 3-17 years should engage in at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Children over the age of 5 are also recommended to included strength based activities at least 3 days per week.

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