T25 with Shaun T

Movement is an after school must for my son Ian. I have found over the years that he needs daily vigorous exercise to help him stay balanced and happy. He always has lots of excess energy and if he doesn’t burn it off  it turns to anxiety and self stimulatory behaviors like pacing, and hand flapping.

I came across T25 with Shaun T one morning as I was channel surfing. While the workout is not marketed to kids with autism, I immediately thought that this would be great for Ian. It’s a nine CD set that includes 11 25-minute workouts. Ian likes the cardio workout best because it is fast-paced and the music is fun. It’s a hard cardio workout, but achievable, and Shaun T the instructor shows you how to do a modified version while you build up strength.

Shaun T, the instructor, speaks in short sentences and models every move so Ian is able to follow along easily. The music is a continuous dance club beat that helps him maintain focus and keep his energy up. There is a large digital clock on the screen counting down the minutes so you always knows how much time is left. The clock motivates Ian and helps with structure.

Ian does this every day as soon as he gets home. He puts on his gym shorts, sweat-wicking T-shirt and gym shoes, and goes through the whole 25 minutes with his after school teacher, who prompts him if he loses focus. He started out doing a modified version of the tape. Now, after a year, he can do the whole thing. Not only has it made a big difference in Ian’s ability to focus, it has also benefited his general strength and ability to master workout combinations and stay engaged for a prolonged period of time.

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