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Why we use our NDIS Plan for Physiotherapy Pilates

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

I interviewed Michelle, mother of Kyana, an NDIS participant with autism.

This is Michelle’s kind sharing and insights to help other mums, families and participants to understand the benefits of specific Physiotherapy exercise programs for them.

Kyana, NDIS Participant performing a balance and leg strength Physiotherapy Pilates exercise

About Kyana

Kyana is like many other vibrant 11 year old pre-teen, interested in sport, friends, you-tube and fidgets. She has always loved to be on the move, and even as a younger child, was not one to sit and watch TV. She lives with Autism, and like many others who live with this condition it is both a super power and at times, a burden. One area she struggled with as she grew older was regulating her emotions, and connecting to what her body was telling her. Given her interest in gymnastics, dance and generally challenging herself physically, we decided to give Physiotherapy pilates exercise a go. She has always been quite responsive to any deep pressure or stretching activities so this was likely to work. She was keen to ensure her sessions were private, she was not interested in joining a group.

Kyana, NDIS Participant performing a balance and leg strength Physiotherapy Pilates exercise

Kyana’s Goals

Kyana had always admired gymnasts on You-tube and had seen me practicing my Physiotherapy pilates exercises at home. She wanted to give my exercises a try and very much enjoyed competing with me for strength and flexibility ! When I introduced her to Emma, she received a personalised program which aims to build her capacity toward her goal of doing the splits. Emma designed the program with consideration of the physical and neurological benefits for Kyana. Whilst it is tailored to strengthening her mind and body, it provides exercises that challenge her and attend to her sensory profile. Emma delivers the session with explicit instructions that are simple to understand including, visual, tactile and verbal prompts and tools. Emma speaks to how Physiotherapy pilates exercise will impact other areas of her life such as her performance at soccer (her other passion) and how it is good for her brain.

Kyana, NDIS Participant performing a hamstring stretch and core Physiotherapy Pilates exercise

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My Goals for Kyana

My plan for Kyana is to engage her in therapies that have meaning for her. I initially engaged her in psychology to assist with the emotional regulation but she hated this and we ceased this as she felt it was being done to her, not with her, she had no engagement and no motivation. Physiotherapy pilates exercise was something we explored together because I knew she loved sport and movement, but I would not push if she did not find it meaningful. My hope is that she finds this enjoyable and at the same time helps her connect to her body and use of breath, raising her awareness of how she is feeling and giving her a tool she can use to help her manage stress and emotions well into the future. Other obvious benefits include increasing tone and coordination skills, and increasing her general awareness of physical health and fitness. In three months, I can see he developing an identity around feeling strong, healthy, skilful, a sense of achievement and mastery, and pride in her developing body.

Kyana, NDIS Participant performing a core strength Physiotherapy Pilates exercise

Kyana loves the diversity of Physiotherapy pilates exercise, she enjoys the deep pressure component, the challenge and mastery of learning a new exercise and her sense of achievement as her form and tone continues to improve. She receives positive feedback throughout the session which provides her with encouragement and motivation.

Kyana, NDIS Participant performing a side strength and stretch Physiotherapy Pilates exercise

Kyana is very quiet during the sessions but is with most people generally. Whilst Kyana doesn’t articulate exactly what she loves about Physiotherapy pilates exercise, I can tell she enjoys it as she gets excited to attend, and this has not waned after 3 months, which is the usual pattern after joining other sports. She has at times volunteered to attend a group session with me just outside of her private session, which speaks volumes given her strong preferences for privacy. She is clearly experiencing far more than just exercise, I truly believe Physiotherapy is giving her an opportunity for improved skills, confidence and ability to live well with Autism well into the future.

Kyana, NDIS Participant performing a back strengthening Physiotherapy Pilates exercise

Thank you Michelle and Kyana for sharing your experiences to help others.

Click below for a FREE Online Assessment to work out what YOU need to focus on to get you started:

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