I have a Personal Training Diploma, though I’ve never worked as a Personal Trainer, and have a huge passion for health and well-being made accessible to all. My personal experience with SEN lies within my family, my younger brother to be exact. He is on the autistic spectrum, and despite his many difficulties with communication, coordination, learning basic skills such as reading and writing, motor functions etc. it has never stopped us bonding. Understanding my brother as an individual, not as a SEN person, was what enabled me to get him out to the park and doing some basic cardiovascular and motor skills training. Instead of telling him I was taking him out for a training session, I told him we were going to play some games together, involving some of his favourite characters such as Super Mario, Spider-man, Donkey Kong, and Transformers. By relating the games to things he already loved, it made it much easier for him to understand what he was being asked to do physically, as he could remember seeing the movements being performed by the characters. My brother is a visual learner, playing video games and watching TV can help him to make sense of physical movements like the ones I was asking him to do - he also has a remarkable memory, with acute attention to detail. This method also made it easy for me to motivate him, as he was too busy enjoying himself to realise how hard he was physically working. The smile on my brother’s face was incredibly rewarding and it made me want to do this for as many individuals as I can.
My Diploma was varied and hands-on. It covered a range of fitness aspects and gave me the knowledge to construct programs for individuals and groups, a background in nutritional advice, how to use the latest gym equipment, how to do demos, and how to be motivating. The course also touched on “the special populations” which involved alternate strategies and how to amend programs for clients who were obese, elderly, of disabled. The course gave me a fantastic insight into how the health and fitness industry works, but most importantly it emphasised how vital it is to recognise clients as individuals and how we can meet their particular needs and desires.
I feel I have a lot to offer in this project, and I’m eager to extend my understanding of SEN people and other amazing individuals. I think it’s important in life to haul together and dive in once in a while to experience something new and hope to get the best out of it. Personal Trainers, physiotherapists, schools and doctors should be collaborating more to give people the best chance they have at acquiring, not preferable, but exceptional health.