Researching the benefits of exercise for children with autism

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jul 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 07:51:51-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) -- Many studies claim exercise can improve your overall health.
However some studies show how exercising can be challenging for children with autism, and other special needs.

Drew Parks is a researcher at Michigan State University who is working to learn the possible good or bad effects of exercise.
He is having 16 year- old Jack walk and use a series of computer games to start the research.

"Being active for short bouts of time about 20 minutes, things like walking, playing outside for things like recess at school and stuff like that could potentially help," Parks said.

The study starts with a 20 minute walk on the treadmill which Parks calls moderate intensity activity.
Jack's mom said exercise is a common thing for her son.

"At home he exercises daily, so that helps. He's pretty physically active," Katie Schwarz said.

Parks hopes more kids with autism will be involved in the study to help with accuracy.

"This will actually run through to the end of the summer so we're trying to collect as much data on as many kids as we can right now," he added.