Antonio DeFrancesco is the President and Founder of Fit4All Abilities. He is 11 years old and was diagnosed with Autism at 2 years of age. He was a very happy baby with no immediate signs of Autism. He met all of his physical milestones, but has many challenges with language and cognitive progression. Eye contact, communication and attention were basically non-existent.
Antonio started his fitness journey the day he was diagnosed. We felt that exercise would help him socialize through physical activity and help him build confidence. Antonio found exercise to be his best medicine. After months of simple exercises such as catch, swimming, trampoline and balance board exercises he began to speak. Building this foundation allowed him to
learn how to jump, run and climb.We found as his physical abilities improved his language and social skills did as well. In addition, he would initiate play because he wanted to exercise. His physical abilities helped Antonio socialize at school and is the reason he was included in activities.
His journey demonstrates the value of physical activity for the special needs population. His progress inspired us to start a fitness program for the special needs community