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Could aerobic exercise help with behavior issues at school?

Many issues can end up being major ones in an individualized education program for a child with disabilities. Among these are behavior issues.

There are many behavior-related concerns a parent of a child with special needs may have regarding their child’s time at school. What things are done to help a child steer clear of behavior-related problems at school and how behavior issues a child has at school are responded to by a school can have significant impacts on a special needs student’s education.

So, what kind of behavioral intervention plan an IEP contains can matter greatly. Skilled attorneys can give guidance to parents of children with disabilities when it comes to IEP proceedings related to behavior intervention plans or other matters touching on in-school behavior issues.

Many things could have an impact on the likelihood of behavior issues arising for a special needs student at school. A recent study suggests that, for some such students, what kind of exercise they do at school may well be among these things.

The study looked at a group of students who attended a therapeutic day school. The students had various different mental/behavioral disorders, such as autism, anxiety disorders or ADHD. The ages of the students ranged from 7 to 16.

In the study, some of the students participated in traditional physical education classes that were non-aerobic. Meanwhile, the others instead did an exercise program involving structured aerobic exercise. Specifically, the program involved cybercycling. This involves using a stationary bike along with a video screen that creates a virtual reality environment.

The study found that the students who did the cybercycling program had a much lower likelihood of showing disruptive behaviors or being pulled out of class in relation to behavior issues.

These results raise the possibility that structured aerobic exercise programs at school might have behavior benefits for students with autism or disorders of a similar nature. One wonders if future studies will have similar results to this one. One also wonders if we will see any big changes in the future in how the issues of exercise and physical education are treated when it comes to special education.

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