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New Fitness Center for Those With Autism Spectrum Disorder Opens This Month

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May 232014

fitness centerThe ASD FITNESS CENTER, located in Orange, is pleased to announce its’ Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, May 31 at 307 Racebrook Road from 4 to 7 p.m.. This free family event will include tours and demonstrations of the state-of-the-art, new 5,000 square-foot facility, a ribbon cutting at 5:00pm, music, face painting, balloons, give-a-ways, food, and a frozen yogurt truck.

Several members of the Center’s advisory board will also be on hand plus First Selectman James Zeoli and Dr. Fred R. Volkmar, the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and the Director of the Yale University Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

Sponsors supporting this event include Whole Foods, Pinkberry, and Dunkin Donuts.

The ASD FITNESS CENTER, which has been under construction since December 2013, is designed specifically to provide a safe, comfortable and structured environment to empower individuals with ASD and to help their fitness, nutrition and social/emotional well being. The programs offered at the sensory-friendly facility are intended to improve physical fitness levels, build confidence, increase social awareness, and to decrease anxiety.

Offerings at the fitness facility include personalized Individual Fitness Programs (IFP) with the options to add nutrition and functional skill goals (e.g. throwing and catching a ball, riding a bike, etc.). Also offered are one-on-one personal training, sectioned workout stations equipped with visual cues, a tailored “fun” station following each workout station, a designated area for functional skill development, small group classes including adaptive karate, yoga, and Bal-A-Vis-X, and parent/guardian workout and waiting areas.

Founders Adam and Dedra Leapley were inspired to create a specialized gym for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) based on their own experience of raising a child with ASD. Adam Leapley said, “We believe in an overall healthy mind and body and introduced our son to a personal trainer last year who had experience with ASD individuals. This led to his improvement physically, emotionally, and socially.” Recognizing his son’s talent for mentoring others on the Spectrum through his work with “Unified Sports”, the “Best Buddies” program and the “Autism Spectrum Resource Center”, Leapley thought that a specialized gym would give his son the opportunity to translate his strength for working with others into a career. After floating the idea to professionals in the field of ASD, he found there was a great enthusiasm for this unique concept and decided to move forward in launching the ASD FITNESS CENTER.

“The ASD Fitness Center is the first of it’s kind in our region,” says Leapley. “The facility has been carefully designed with input from top professionals in the field of Autism to address the fitness and nutritional needs of people of all ages on the Spectrum. Our participant evaluations are thorough and all of our trainers and class instructors have a special education background. We are so proud to bring this amazing, unique opportunity to ASD families in the New Haven and Fairfield Counties.“

RSVP’s are appreciated by emailing info@asdfitnesscenter.com with names, guest count and the nature of interest in the Center. Grand Opening event parking on May 31 will be available at the Racebrook Elementary School at 107 Grannies Road and shuttle service will be provided. Intake Evaluation forms are available to complete and submit online or to download and print at www.asdfitnesscenter.com.

To learn more about the ASD FITNESS CENTER and the Grand Opening Celebration, please visit the Center’s Facebook page, www.asdfitnesscenter.com or email info@asdfitnesscenter.com.