The Syracuse University Fit Families Program (SUFF) is an interdisciplinary effort developed by faculty in the fields of adapted physical education, exercise science, special education, and psychology in order to engage children with autism (ranging in ages from 5-11) and their families in physical activity opportunities. The SUFFP offers monthly training workshops for parents in the areas of: 1) sensory integration, 2) communication, 3) physical activity and motor skills, 4) aquatic play, and 5) sports. Over two dozen families participated in the SUFFP in the 2016-2017 academic year.
In collaboration with The Hussman Institute for Autism, the ICI conducted a workshop with the parents and families, in order to engage in discussions around strategies they utilize to communicate with their children. Parents were introduced to the Cycle of Communication as a tool to foster meaningful communicative interactions, and led through role-playing activities for practice. ICI researchers and doctoral students observed the parents interacting with their children throughout the various play settings and modeled ways to use the Cycle of Communication to structure reciprocal, meaningful communicative interactions. For more information about the SUFFP, please contact the ICI.