We always tell our customers that the products and solutions we provide serve more than just one population. In a school setting, a PE class, fitness class, special needs kids, and the sports teams can all get a tremendous benefit from the Exergame products. The key is how they use them for each population.
Below is a great article from a teacher in Naperville IL School District explaining how he uses the Makoto Exergame Arena.
Iam a special education teacher at Madison Jr. High in Naperville, Illinois. Iteach multi needs, which is a self contained class, except for lunch, P.E., andexploratory classes like music and art. Our student population includes a widerange of mental and physical ability levels. This is because we have a widerange of different impairments that the students have including mental andphysical impairments. The mental age of my students range from pre-k to secondgrade. Many of my students have sensory issues and attention difficulties. Ihave not personally done a lot of research on the effects that exercise has onthe brain, or the effects that it has on individuals with disabilities, orspecifically individuals with Autism. I do, however see the effects that is hason my students on a daily basis. The fitness center here at Madison has been agreat outlet for our students during the day. We use the fitness center forseveral reasons. Sometimes our students need sensory breaks, in which case thefitness center equipment can provide many ways for our autistic students tosatisfy their sensory needs. One example is through the resistance pressure ofthe machines.
Themain reason we would use the Makoto machine is to regain focus and relievestress as well as fill the sensory needs of our students. To further explain,many individuals with mental impairments, namely individuals who have autism,tend to have hypersensitivity to certain senses such as touch, sight, andsmell. Certain sensory outlets can either set them off in a meltdown due to theun-comfort those outlets cause them. Certain sensory outlets comfort them andhelp to regulate their emotions as well as attention span since they arereceiving the sensory needs they require. The Makoto machine has helped to fillvisual and physical sensory needs of our students.
Ihave also noticed the effects that use of the Makoto has on our students’attentiveness. Our students tend to have very low attention spans (varying, buton average our students can keep attention and provide good quality work andfeed back for 15 minutes or less). Our class periods are about 40 minutes inlength. Often throughout the school day, our students attention level reduceswith each period that passes. We often allow the students to take a break inthe fitness center using machines such as the Makoto to help them regain focus.The Machine seems to help them focus by allowing them to do a fun physicalactivity that also holds their interest and gets them in the habit of focusingon one thing for a length of time. Often, after a break using the fitnessmachines, our students will come back to class ready to work and able tomaintain focus so they can get quality work done. They also appear morerelaxed, as their bodies seem to be recovering from the physical activity theyhave just completed. They tend to be less prone to having repetitive nervous oranxious movements which often create a distraction in itself to themselves aswell as their classmates.
Thankfullyfor our multi needs special education program at Madison, we have been able tobenefit from the hard work of Mr. Phil Lawler, who has been able to help ourP.E. program attain such nice equipment to use in the fitness center. Withoutmachines such as the Makoto, our students may not have the success they haveshown in the classroom.
Multi Needs Teacher
Madison Jr. High (Naperville, Il.)