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Interesting story on this one. Monique Sciberras is a 10 year old with a mild case of autism, and her parents found that the best way to keep her engaged was through training, specifically in Muay Thai style kickboxing. In this training video, you can see her sheer power and focus. She looks like a little Mike Tyson with those punches.
Mental debilitating conditions don’t make people “less smart” but restructures HOW they think. An idea may seem silly to adults, but that is only because WE DON’T view it in its simplest form.
A story from Grand-Master Pereira was that he had an autistic student who was having trouble with keeping the four directions straight. After class he asked the student how many walls he saw. The student proceeded to count all the walls in sight, including where the wall jutted out form a support beam. Master P took the student to a different room that only had 4 walls and asked him to repeat the pattern then the student understood it because he now had ONLY 4 walls and thus four turns. This was the first time his mother had ever seen her son complete any “advanced task” by himself without being walked through it.
Martial arts, dance, and other physical outlets are prime sources of help. It helps slow alzheimers and other dementia, as well as autistic or mentally handicapped individuals. So if you haven’t already think about starting a Martial Arts program or Dance studio to help stay active.