Autism Spectrum


leaving school and leading your own life

Healthy Living


Many young people do need some advice on healthy eating and on exercise… and will not be very open to the well-meaning advice of their families.

So we have set out on the Young people section some basic tips, links to websites and resources and some excellent advice from other young people.


Healthy Eating

You can assist them by providing healthy meals and snack choices in the home and modelling healthy eating patterns.

The Raising Children website has some great common sense tips for encouraging healthy eating in young people. Find it here.

Some young people will need more assistance than others in discriminating between healthy options and those foods that should be eaten occasionally. 

You could download a chart such as this one from the Eat for Health website and stick it on the fridge to educate and remind them about food groups and proportions.

Eat For Health chart here.


Encouraging exercise

During the school years your young person had lots of opportunities for regular exercise during PE, sports classes and when participating in team sports. Many children walk to and from their local school which is another form of regular exercise.

Once children leave school it can be hard for them to keep a regular exercise routine. The general consensus is to aim for 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise – this can be done over several shorter periods during the day or all at once. 

Exercise can take many forms – walking, bike-riding, swimming, riding a skateboard, gardening, bushwalking, kayaking, playing soccer, doing housework are all forms of exercise. The key is to find a few things that young person enjoys and encourage them to do something every day.

Building exercise into their routine is also a good way to get regular exercise e.g. encouraging them to walk to and from the bus-stop or to walk the family dog each evening. 

The Make Your Move website has a downloadable PDF for young people from the federal Department of Health. It is aimed at young people aged 13 – 17 and explains clearly why exercise is so important and how much to take – and how to make it fun!

 The Getting Active website from the Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK explains simply the value of exercise and how much we need.  


 Being A Healthy Woman

This is a book which can be downloaded in chapters which aims to help women with intellectual disabilities learn about their health. It has been written by NSW Health and is free to download.  There are good sections on general health, food and exercise. Find it here.