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Asperger's syndrome is a condition that affects emotional, communication and social development 1. It causes a general sense of awkwardness and is associated as a mild form of an autistic spectrum disorder, according to MayoClinic.com. The cause of Asperger's is currently unknown, but it is believed to be a genetic disease. Various treatments, including exercise, may help with some symptoms and behaviors associated with the syndrome.
There is no known cure for Asperger's syndrome, but treatments such as behavioral and social skills training and therapy has been known to help young and adults alike to function more naturally in social situations 1. Cognitive behavioral therapy may help some deal with the intense and often abrupt outbursts of emotion associated with the condition. Medications to calm anxiety may also prove beneficial.
Exercise releases the body's natural mood lifters called endorphins, which may help promote calmer periods for those diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome 1. Encourage short periods of exercise with those diagnosed with the syndrome to help promote overall health and wellness and offer benefits of endorphin release. Occupational therapy exercises help improve gross and fine motor skills and strengthen weakened areas of the body. Trained occupational therapists are also trained to provide exercise that benefits not only the physical body but also the emotional and cognitive abilities of people with Asperger's syndrome 1.
Some individuals diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome experience awkward and uncontrollable movements of their arms and legs 1. Gentle exercises such as yoga or stretching may help relieve muscle tension, improve balance and coordination and rid the muscles of pent-up energy. For example, increasing the strength and coordination of hand movements through physical therapy exercise such as squeezing a ball or finger dexterity exercises can help improve daily life skills and functions such as dressing, grooming and writing skills.
Exercises such as knee bends, weight lifting and aerobic activities such as walking and running may help improve physical strength and coordination, improve endurance and improve cognitive skills such as following instructions offered throughout the exercise process.
Sensory training or sensory integration is a common type of physical and occupational therapy to encourage children diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome to react differently to certain stimuli in their environment 1. In this way, sensory integration therapies help children to engage in games and activities with others and adapt their behavior to respond correctly in social settings, according to Healing Thresholds. Sensory training involves movement exercises, including dancing, hand-eye coordination activities such as hitting a baseball, crawling through tubes and tunnels and hitting moving objects.