ORANGE, Connecticut — The doors are back open at Autism Health & Fitness Center on Racebrook Road in Orange, but inside there’s a transformation. Not only has the business changed its name from ASD Fitness Center, but it’s also changed the way it’s doing business.
Autism Health and Fitness Center is a fitness center for people with special needs, primarily those on the autism spectrum.
“We have young people, older people, everyone in between,” said Angela Degrassi, Autism Health & Fitness Center Director.
It’s been a place where people can try sports, exercise and work one-on-one with a personal trainer, but in the midst of the pandemic, the fitness center had to close from March 13 through July 1.
“That was something that we know was really challenging for our members and their families. We did the best we could to keep in touch with everyone, but it’s not the same as meeting with them in person, so we know that was a challenge and we know we couldn’t be there the way we’d like to for them,” said Degrassi.
The fitness center looked for opportunities to connect with clients and developed a virtual training program for individuals and small groups.
“We started a more robust YouTube Channel. We put out 50 videos during that time we were closed just as a way to stay in touch and help our members find some fitness even while they were at home,” said Degrassi.
There are plans to continue that, even with the fitness center back open on a limited basis, with trainers working one-on-one with clients again. The fitness center is also gearing up for its modified summer camp that starts in August.
“It’s all indoors, and we are going to work with our kids in smaller groups versus all together. They’ll rotate through a variety of stations through the day. It will take place in our fitness center, so we do have lots of space and lots of equipment to keep everybody busy,” said Degrassi.
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