Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pounding Pavement Calms Autistic Runner

MOUNT DORA, Fla. — When Kyle Krekeler showed up at the Mount Dora Christian Home and Bible School track in July to join a local running group, trainer Vickie Steuben encountered a problem.
The 22-year-old Krekeler, who is autistic, would smell her hand and try to put some of her fingers in his mouth.
"I would get really freaked out," said Steuben, who has been coaching Krekeler since he joined. "But he doesn't do that anymore."
Running keeps Krekeler on an even keel, said his grandmother and legal guardian, Anne Osborne. He smiles when he starts to run. He is healthy and fit. And though he has a long way to go, experts say there is evidence that moderate to vigorous exercise can help people with autism. The benefits have been explored in studies examining the results of swimming, treadmill walking and even horse riding, among other aerobic activities.

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