As individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) live longer lives, inclusion in fitness and recreational programs can be beneficial in improving general health and longevity, prevent secondary health problems and maintain functional abilities. Those with I/DD experience disability and health problems associated with aging at an earlier rate than the general population. This webinar will identify potential barriers to long term, sustainable participation in recreational fitness activities for those with I/DD, identify desirable characteristics of recreational/leisure programs that lead to long term, sustainable participation, and review the impact of various internal and external factors influencing exercise participation.
Research shows that individuals with I/DD engage in little physical activity, have increased cardiovascular and other health problems as compared with age matched peers in the general population. Quality indicators for choosing the best programs for a specific individuals will be described and development of meaningful and measurable goals and objectives will be described.
Current evidence and guidelines regarding exercise for specific populations such as those with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy and intellectual disabilities will be reviewed.
Cynthia Potter, PT, DPT, PCS is a physical therapist in private practice in the Pittsburgh area and has worked with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a variety of settings for more than 30 years. Dr. Potter ‘s professional experience includes designing recreational/leisure activity programs for I/DD and in creating effective exercise programs for individuals with specific types of developmental problems. She is the liaison from the Pediatric Section of the American Physical Therapy Association to AAIDD. In her role as Sensory Consultant for Allegheny Valley School, she has presented also presented widely on methods for integrating effective sensory input into the routines of individuals with I/DD. Dr. Potter is a board-certified pediatric physical therapist and holds a B.S. from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA; M.S. in Developmental Disabilities from the University of Pittsburgh and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Slippery Rock University. She is a former Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Graduate School of Physical Therapy at Slippery Rock University and former adjunct professor at Duquesne University and Robert Morris University.