A visit from
Best Fitness Program
LA Yoga Magazine
Exercise classes for kids in the Los Angeles area
Yoga for young people? Fitness classes for special-needs youth? These programs get children moving, and more.
This Pasadena-based group fitness program devoted to kids with special needs or on the autism spectrum is the brainchild of professional trainers David Liston, his wife, Jodie Liston; and clinical psychologist Gwennyth Palafox.
The program serves about 25 youths ages 5 to 20. David Liston says that, even though society has good intentions to include them, most of the kids can't go to regular exercise classes or be in situations with children who don't have special needs.
"What has really blown me away is that when these kids get the opportunity to exercise, so many of them are very, very athletic. They have the balance, strength, the stability," Liston says.
The kids thrive on the consistency of the training and the coaches and lots of postive talk and high-fives that they all get points for. Though they think they're coming in just to exercise, he says, they're working on self-esteem, social skills and even leadership - as most of them can lead a set in class themselves after repeated visits.
"They don't get this anywhere else in their life. Nowhere else is anyone letting a child with Down syndrome or a kid on the spectrum lead anything, and that's where the power comes in," Liston says.
Brain-Body 360: (626) 232-6900, bb360training.com
Full article: latimes.com/health/la