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CrossFit Kids for the Developmentally Delayed by Josh MacDonald - CrossFit Journal

In Kids, Special Populations

May 09, 2011

PDF Article

Josh MacDonald offers tips for working with special-needs children.

Nobody works with kids for the money or fame. Each of us began teaching kids how to CrossFit with the hopes of improving the general health and fitness of as many of them as possible. We want to have full classes, and we want the kids to have a ton of fun in the process.

Our programming is designed to teach proper movement skills and improve the general fitness level of all kids, but no two kids are alike. Each comes to his or her first class with different skills and abilities. Some are natural athletes, and others need help to understand some of the basic movements.

Every once in a while, you get a child who needs an extra level of care. Maybe he does not understand all your cues and directions, and maybe he has poor body awareness and can’t even begin to understand the mechanics of the movement. While it might seem that all our kids act like this at times, there are some who have a legitimate limitation called “developmental delay.”

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8 Comments on “CrossFit Kids for the Developmentally Delayed ”


wrote …

Thank you, Josh, for your committment to the disabled community. In working with our adult Downs Syndrome son, we confront his own unreasonable expectations about what exercise will do for him. We redirect his attention to form and tell him the "six pack abs" he wants may come later. Also, we find that the Syndrome does not allow for muscle tone to develop even after regular exercise. Again, thanks Josh for bringing the needs of this community into the duscussion.


Bob Guere wrote …

Great article Josh. Thank you for your patience and dedication as a CF Kids trainer!


wrote …

As the father of a 3 year old autistic boy, trying to get my two older children into Crossfit Kids, thank you for this encouragement. It's great to see what kids CAN do, instead of being always told what they can't. Keep up the good work, Josh.


wrote …

Good advice. Sounds like a great person.


wrote …

Solid article Josh...!

Keep up the great work @ Fury!


wrote …

Thanks for this article. I have a child with these tendencies, but the parents don't really think so...been struggling with what to do.


wrote …

As I read your article I thought you were an OT even before I got to your Bio at the end. Being out of the profession for a few years you were making me want to go back and dig out my old college text books. I always thought Crossfit and OT were related we both use functional activities to achieve positive outcomes and meet goals. Great article.


wrote …

Thank you for posting this article. I'm a mother of a 13 year old high functioning autistic gal. CF has been a life changer for me....all positive.

Nice to know that approaches for teaching children who have challenges are being practiced so that I can share with her the positive effects CF has provided to me.

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