Maree McIntosh

Specialcise Parent

This is my daughter Grace and I.

For fourteen years, she has been my passion and focus.  Not only have I been her mum, I have been her strongest advocate and fighter, her therapist and her educator. I have read copious amounts of information and research in regards to her health, well being and education. I have read about brain plasticity. I have learnt about the importance of oxygen to the brain. I have learnt about methods to improve her cognitive ability. I have learnt about how to improve her attention span, gross motor and fine motor skills. I’ve learnt about the benefits of music therapy, cross patterning, crossing the midline, and the list goes on.  You name it and I’m pretty sure I’ve read it and either applied it or discarded it.

This knowledge has culminated in my quest to provide Grace with tools and opportunities so she can live a life that is inclusive and accepting. I have found that this isn’t always easy.

Participating in sports for any child is important for their health and well being, self esteem and developing friendships. This is no different for Grace and I was finding it more difficult to find something that ticked all the boxes. When she was younger it was easier for her to join inclusive sports but as sports get more competitive through the years it was apparent that Grace’s best ability wouldn’t be good enough in these environments.

This journey has led me to here……a gym program for her and kids like her and funnily, it has been Grace who has been the instigator of this program. On occasions I would have to bring Grace to my group sessions at the gym. She was told that she could only watch and she was not to interrupt me or the personal trainer or get in the way but every time she would push the boundaries and muscle her way in; whether it was to do a cheeky TRX pull up or a step up. It was obvious that participating in a workout was something that Grace wanted to do so I asked Kane one day how he felt about training Grace. I’m pleased to say he embraced the idea.

So here we are. I am very proud of Specialcise. It’s a program that can be tailored to the individual. The program incorporates ‘therapy’ type exercises that are not obvious to the child. It includes aspects of all the ‘good stuff’ that I have read about over the years. Specialcise is a program where the child can feel safe and celebrated for who they are and without judgement. A program where interactions are encouraged and friendships are built. And of course, Specialcise will achieve everything that you would expect a gym program to be.

I am very passionate about this program and the endless possibilities it can bring to children with special needs. It has helped Grace and it is my goal to help thousands like her who are often left out, forgotten or ignored.

I hope you can see the benefits too and join us in our quest to improve the health and well being of children with special needs and that your kids can say, ‘I exercise with Specialcise’

View our specifically tailored Specialcise programs