Natalia Neophytou, [MSc(Med)][BHSc(Hons)Biokinetics] was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Natalia has a Masters degree in the field of Exercise Science at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her study was entitled “The efficacy of a 12 week exercise intervention in adolescents aged 11-16 years in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder”. She is currently perusing her PhD in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a lecturer at the Centre for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine and runs her own private Biokinetics practice where she treats patients who have orthopedic problems, chronic diseases, and neurological conditions.
She has a particular interest in helping to improve motor deficits in individuals with ASD, using exercise as the primary modality. She has published 4 papers in various journals and has research interests in exercise as a means of rehabilitation in individuals with ASD, isokinetic testing and neurological rehabilitation. She coordinates the exercise science undergraduate course at Wits university, supervises interns and helps run many research projects.
Natalia is also an avid artist and particularly enjoys oil painting. She is currently working on a project to develop appropriate colouring in/ activity books for individuals with ASD.
Workshop: A hands on approach to improving flexibility, agility and other motor deficits in individuals with ASD
Presenter: Natalia Neophytou (Msc(Med), BHSc (Hons) Biokinetics1
1Centre for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
PURPOSE: This workshop aims to increase awareness of the motor deficits often found in individuals with ASD, as well as equip parents and professionals with knowledge and basic skills to implement effective exercise classes to effectively improve selected motor deficits.
DESCRIPTION: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder in which individuals often present with compromised coordination, reduced muscle tone and postural abnormalities often resulting in declined performance of motor tasks. Appropriate, and ASD specific exercise interventions have been scientifically compile to help improve these impaired motor skills.