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April 1, 2023

The Ability Connection

Issue #7

April 2 is World Autism Day

World Autism Day is observed annually on April 2. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder (A.S.D.). It also presents an opportunity to tear down misconceptions and false notions about disability.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Autism is a developmental disorder with symptoms that appear within the first three years of life. We still have much to learn about these causes and how they impact people with ASD. According to the CDC,

scientists believe there are multiple causes of ASD that act together to change the most common ways people develop. Everyone with autism experiences their own unique strengths, symptoms, and challenges.

Exercise has shown to be an effective treatment for autism by reducing maladaptive behaviors, regulating emotions, and improving communication skills and academics. No matter the class or program, Bio Ability staff will evaluate everyone’s challenges and goals and design a program specifically to meet these individual needs and goals.

April is Stress Awareness Month

April is National Stress Awareness Month to raise awareness of the negative impact of stress.  Stress can affect your health in many ways. Managing your stress is good for your overall health and will help you prevent and control many chronic diseases. Many factors contribute to feeling stressed. Although you cannot change everything that causes you stress, you can change your perception of it and how you allow it to affect you. Certain lifestyle choices can help you deal better with stressors in your life.

To manage your stress, it is first important to take a stress inventory and determine your stressors.  What causes stress in one person may be of little or no concern to another. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health.  There are many stress management techniques that can help manage stress.  However, did you know that diet, exercise and even sleep can affect your body’s ability to manage stress?

Bio Ability offers an Adaptive Lifestyle Program designed to help you with your health goals, including managing your stress.  It is designed to meet you where you are at and supplement what you and your doctor are already working on.  It will include recommendations for appropriate lifestyle adaptations including healthy eating and adaptive exercises to help you meet your goals and improve your overall health.  If you are interested, please call Bio Ability to schedule a consult.

What’s happening?

Soft Opening and Summer Camps

A soft opening for our Bio Ability facility is expected sometime in April. Once Bio Gymnastics moves, the building will be closed for preparations and Bio Ability will be in the former Bio Gymnastics building.   If you are interested in donating to help us to get started or buying something from our wish list, go to the “Donate” section of our website.  We will need volunteers to help us prepare the building. If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering in this or any capacity, please complete the volunteer form on our website under “Get Involved”.

Adaptive gymnastics will continue as scheduled.  Anyone interested please contact us to schedule with Ms. Julia.  We are preparing to offer summer camps in June.  If you are interested in enrolling a family member in summer camps or any other class or service, contact Bio Ability and we will begin making a list of interested students.  This will help us determine our camp and class scheduling needs and staffing needs.  If you or anyone you know is interested in working as a camp instructor this summer, please compete the job application on our website under “Jobs”.

Student of the Month

Aditya Iyer is our student of the month.


Adi is 10 years old. His family moved to the U.S. 1 year ago for his education and therapies. Adi was diagnosed with special needs when he was three. He joined BIO Ability two months ago to mainly focus on his fitness and flexibility.

In his work with Julia, they have been focusing on his leg strength and using both legs rather than favoring one side. Adi is a soft-spoken and polite child. He has made great progress after just a few sessions with Julia. Adi is so excited about his weekly gym sessions at BIO Ability. He enjoys the activities very much!

Exercises of the Month

These stretches are helpful for anyone who holds stress in the neck and shoulders.

Assisted Neck Stretch

  • Place your right hand on your head with your fingers pointing to the left side.
  • Gently pull your head toward the right side until you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and return to center.
  • Repeat on left side.

Neck Circle

  • Start sitting on a chair or kneeling on the floor.
  • With your hands crossed on your chest, begin to roll your neck in a clockwise direction.
  • Push your neck gently to the limits of your comfortable range.
  • Circle in this direction for five reps, then rotate counterclockwise.

Shoulder Roll

  • Start kneeling or seated with your arms at your sides.
  • Shrug your shoulders up as high as possible toward your ears.
  • Roll your shoulders forward and down, creating as much space as possible between ears and shoulders.
  • Pull them down and back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Finish with your shoulders up by your ears again.

Recipe of the Month: Berry and Barley Spinach Salad Recipe


2 cups cooked and cooled barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime
5 ounces (4 cups) fresh baby spinach
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 avocado, diced
2 cups fresh or defrosted berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries)
Optional: Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, gently mix together barley, olive oil, lime juice and zest, spinach, red onion, fresh basil, salt and pepper.
  2. Gently fold in avocado and berries.
  3. Serve salad immediately or chill and serve within 2 hours.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ½ cup
Serves 10

Calories: 106; Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 14mg; Carbohydrates: 16g; Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 2g; Potassium: 243mg; Phosphorus: 40mg

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