Autism Center of Tulsa

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Ability Health Action

About

Ability Health Action is a program of the Autism Center of Tulsa. It is a health curriculum designed to teach individuals with autism and developmental delays. The curriculum is broken down into 14 functional lessons which can be downloaded for free. This curriculum is intended to be used by educators, health instructors, and parents. The goal of AHA is to teach individuals with autism spectrum disorders, in a functional and meaningful way, the importance of health and their role in staying healthy.

Background

Health and wellness are the foundations that allow people to participate in many of the most important aspects of life. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) early definition of health as a state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease is as valid today as it was at its inception (WHO, 1946). This approach to health is similar to contemporary notions of “wellness,” achieving a harmony or balance across multiple dimensions of living including physical, mental, social, and spiritual components (e.g., Cross, Bazron, Dennis, & Isaacs, 1989; O'Donnell, 1989).

For the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities (Waldop & Stern, 2003), maintaining good health is imperative in reducing the impact of impairment on functioning and participation. Yet, information from a number of sources consistently documents that people with disabilities as a group experience worse health than the general population (e.g., Drum, 2003; U.S. Census Bureau, 2001).

Curriculum downloads: