By Gymnastics NSW
Creshone Roshananth – 7, gymnast in a GymAbility class through Gymnastics for All
Questions answered by his mum Niveditta.
Chreshone is autistic.
What do you like most about gymnastics for your son?
My son loves gymnastics. I have noticed my son’s confidence level increased ever since he started gymnastics also gymnastics is helping him to overcome his diagnosis related challenges.
Can you please tell us a bit more about your son and the pathway you took to entering gymnastics?
My son was diagnosed with Autism (level 2) when he was around 3 years old. He received speech therapy but unfortunately couldn’t access occupational therapy due to unavailability. Everywhere I enquired I could only place my son on waitlist. When I researched if I could provide any therapeutic interventions similar to occupation therapy, until we get a placement, I came to know my son could benefit from gymnastics. I enquired and expressed our interest with Sydney Hills Gymnastics. Staff at Sydney Hills Gymnastics are really kind, welcoming and accommodating. My son started his journey in 2021 when he was 5 years old, and he is still happily continuing. Every Friday evening he would say ‘Friday finish. Tomorrow gymnastics,’ with a big smile on his face.
How has gymnastics helped you in your life?
I believe gymnastics has helped my son in all aspects of his life.
For example, when my son was around 3-4 years old, he used to be very afraid of trampolines, jumping castles and swings. Basically any unstable surfaces or moving objects he wouldn’t access. The OT diagnosis behind his fear was vestibular dysfunction. But ever since he started gymnastics, we have witnessed he can now confidently access trampolines, jumping castles and swings.
He used to be afraid of heights as well. But by practising walking on beams, jumping onto the foam pits, now he can confidently climb on ladders, walk on a beam and jump onto the foam pit while swinging on rope. Monkey bar activities also helped him to overcome his crossing midline issues.
We can see the difference in his gross motor skills and we are really happy with the progress.
Also his coach Luiza accommodates activities which can improve his fine motor skills, concentration, focus and attention span. Though it is a group session, his coach pays attention to each child and delivers the training according to the child’s need and interest. Also, as it is a group intervention, he has the opportunity to interact with other kids and practice taking turns. I believe he is strengthening his social skills.
Though we started due to an unavailability of an occupational therapist even after he started to receive occupational therapy, the therapist was surprised by his achievements and advised us to continue with gymnastics.
We will continue with gymnastics as we are witnessing how gymnastics and training from his coach Luiza is helping our son to overcome his challenges. Moreover, gymnastics makes him happy as he is enjoying it.