Fitting in Better by Getting Fit

Laura has Down syndrome.  She used to be overweight.  Since joining a fitness program at her school, she’s more confident and focused, and yes, she’s also lost 20 lbs. Michael has autism.  He completed OT in preschool and has recently finished 40 sessions of vision therapy.  Now he’s sharpening his visual-spatial awareness and motor planning by playing virtual soccer. Ryan asks all week if it’s Sunday yet.  He can’t wait to go to KEEN for basketball.  His devoted volunteer George wouldn’t miss a session either. Fitness Training Builds More Than Muscles Laura, Michael and Ryan are three of many kids with autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy and genetic disorders who are growing stronger, happier, and more confident through fitness training. “Nobody’s ever pushed these kids,” says Laura’s coach Tom Yarnell, who developed the “Power Inside” program at the Pathfinder School in Pittsburgh.  “Getting them physically fit and understanding how their bodies work helps them function better in the world.” He…

“The Diet” (Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet)

by Patricia S. Lemer, M.S. Bus., NCC Are you on “the diet”? is a query commonly heard wherever I go. At my weight loss clinic “the diet” is the protein shake that allowed me to drop 25 pounds. At the health club, “the diet” could mean The Zone, Atkins or Eat Right for your Type. Friends have used these programs to drop poundage and feel better. Most people have heard of the Feingold diet, a program that eliminates artificial colors flavors, preservatives and salicylates. It has helped many children overcome difficult behaviors. In disability circles, however, the that probably works best is a gluten-free, casein-free diet. I find it one of the simplest, most exciting discoveries in my 40 years in this field. History of the Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet Originally, Lisa Lewis dug into diet literature looking for a way to help her son. She located the research of Paul Shattock and Karl Reichelt, who link gluten and casein with…