Fitness for every body. Health for everyone. This the guiding vision of DiversiFIT, a non-profit program designed to equip Autistic children, youth, and adults- along with their families and caregivers- with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to make physical activity and exercise a part of their daily experience.
Working with our Qualified Exercise Professionals, including CSEP Certified Personal Trainers and NASM Certified Corrective Exercise Specialists, Behaviour Change Specialists, and Nutrition Specialists, participants are encouraged to experience movement in an environment that is designed to accommodate their needs and ability levels.
Note: A formal diagnosis of Autism (or any other developmental difference) is not required. Our programs are designed to suit all those who feel that they could benefit from them, and are accessible to all who wish to participate.
Early Learners (2-5 years)
It’s never too early to get a start on physical literacy and healthy movement habits! Our early years program caters to families with very young children who may be experiencing gross motor and coordination delays and disabilities.
Parents are encouraged to actively participate in the play-based movement exploration, and are given tools and resources on how to further encourage healthy movement development at home.
Programs are designed and overseen by qualified exercise professionals with experience and training in Early Childhood Education.
Child and Youth (6-17 years*)
Inactivity and sedentary behaviour are growing concerns with our child and youth populations. Physical activity and exercise have been directly linked with marked improvements in all areas of health.
Designed to serve those with children aged 8-17 (exemptions available for younger children), our Family Integrated Program is designed to help teach healthy lifestyle fundamentals to all members of the family, including parents and siblings.
Also, stay tuned for details on our upcoming DiversiFIT For Teens, a program which will promote healthy living with an emphasis on physical, mental, emotional and social wellness.
Adult (18 years +)
As we age, the importance of having a regular physical fitness routine is enhanced. Unfortunately, significant barriers exist when it comes to ensuring access to fitness and health supports for adults living with disabilities.
The DiversiFIT Adult program offers participants an opportunity to learn and train with fitness professionals, all the while receiving coaching on nutrition and other self-care goals that can enhance quality of life.
Training is provided in a semi-private, spacious and low-stimulus environment, and participants are encouraged to work on their own goals at their own speed and ability.
Community Support Programs
Workshop Facilitation And Presentations
An staunch advocate for inclusion, body positivity, accessibility, and fitness for all, DiversiFIT creator Zita Dube-Lockhart (B. A., CSEP CPT/NASM CES, FNS/ AFAA GFI) is a prominent local speaker and workshop facilitator. Presentation topics include “Play: The Mind-Body Connection”, “Fostering Joyful Movement”, “Autism And Physical Activity”, and“Creating Adaptive Fitness Programming”.
Self Care workshop topics include: “Does Your Castle Bounce? Setting the stage for play based learning”, “Food 101: How Food Works and How to make it work for you” and “Becoming Resolution Ready”.
Professional and Workplace workshops include: “Love Your Back: Safe Lifting for Caregivers”, “Self Care for the Self Less", and “Stress Management For The Stressed Out Family”.
Inclusive and Specialized “FITNESS FOR ALL” Programs
As schools, community programs and child recreation facilities continue to increasingly move towards integrated and inclusive education options, there is a significant need for specialized fitness programming that is able to quickly and easily adapt to every ability level and skill set.
Using the DiversiFIT Body Bricks methods, and by teaching participants to consider the entire human movement spectrum when engaging in activities, our programs become easily modifiable and adaptable to every participant.
Available FIT FOR ALL programs include, but are not limited to: Zumba Fitness, Pound Fitness, Kids Gone Strong Bootcamp, Circuit Craze, and Introduction to Strength Training (High School only)
Caregiver Fitness and Wellness Programing
Coming in 2019…
Strong Dads: Fitness Programming for Fathers of Autistic children
Strong Mom: Fitness Programming for Mothers of Autistic children
Wellness and Self Care workshops for Parents and Caregivers
Self-Care Retreats for Caregivers
About the Creator:
DiversiFIT creator and program director, Zita Dube-Locckhart, has been a finalist for Impact Magazine’s Canada’s Top Fitness Instructor (2018), two-time nominee for YEG FITNESS Magazines’s Trainer of the Year (2017, 2018), and a two-time recipient of Autism Edmonton’s Community Champion Award (2017, 2018).
She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology/Political Science) from the University of Alberta (2007) and a Diploma in Health Sciences from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (2015), as well as over a dozen different specializations and fitness certifications including:
Certified Personal Trainer, Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, National Academy of Sports Medicine
Certified Behavior Change Specialist, National Academy of Sports Medicine
Fitness Nutrition Specialist, National Academy of Sports Medicine
Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Athletics and Fitness Association of America
She is a proud wife and mother of two incredibly amazing children: her 5 year old daughter, “chatty” Charlie, and her 8 year old “Super” Sammie, who is Autistic, non-speaking, and the inspiration for the DiversiFIT program.
You can read more about Zita, Sammie and their family’s journey here: https://www.techlifetoday.ca/articles/2017/diversifit-fitness-autism