Functional Program

There is no cookie-cutter approach to training based upon chronological age. It is important that each student is placed according to their own individual abilities and limitations. One of the things that distinguish the human-animal from all other animals is our ability to apply proper technique and nutrition through professional guidance. Physical exercise has a therapeutic effect on the entire person-physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. “The Malakan Method” is tailored to address balance and coordination, along with posture deviation, flexibility, and strength. The method also has the effect of enhancing and augmenting the kinesthetic sense-the body’s innate sense of where each of its parts is located in relation to the others and to objects and space around it.”

“The Malakan Method” Syllabus

Our teaching program standards are comprehensive and specifically oriented towards education in the Arts, health and personal fitness. The program is designed to emphasize the following:

1) Artistic perception: processing, analyzing and responding to sensory information, using the language and skill set unique to the arts and fitness. Development of motor skills and technical proficiency and expertise. This part of the course will include:

-Building the range and capacity to move in a variety of ways.
-Development of basic motor skills.
-Development of strong vocabulary.
-Comprehension and analysis of the arts and fitness elements.
-Demonstrated ability to vary the control and direct force & energy applied in basic locomotor and axial movements.
-Making use of a variety of combinations of basic locomotor and axial movements.
-Combining and performing locomotor and axial movements on a specific pathway
-Demonstrating the ability to start, change and stop movements properly.
-Demonstrating mental concentration and physical control in performing skills.
-Demonstrating the ability to use smooth transitions while connecting one movement phrase to another.
-Properly naming and using a wide variety of movements.
-Incorporating a variety of force/energy abilities into executing a full range of movements.
-Demonstrating risk-taking in generating techniques involving larger and stronger movements through space.
-Demonstrating clarity of intent while applying kinesthetic principles to all elements of the arts and fitness.
-Apply fluent knowledge of the arts, fitness, and health to distinguish how the movement looks physically in relation to space, time and force/energy.

2) Creative Expression: Creating and performing inventive movements. responding spontaneously to different types of rhythms and stimuli.

-Responding to a variety of stimuli.
-Responding spontaneously to different types of music, rhythms, sounds and objects with appropriate force/energy.
-Creating a movement that reflects a variety of personal experiences.
-Using self-expression and improvisation to discover movements in response to specific movement problems.
-Creating and improvising movement patterns and sequences.
-Demonstrating multiple solutions in response to a given movement problem, while incorporating level and direction change.
-Developing movement phrases that have a sense of unity.
-Creating, memorizing and performing original expression that can contribute to peers.
-Improvising and selecting multiple methods to solve a given movement problem.
-Performance to communicate personal meaning, using focus and expression.
-Demonstrating a variety of partner skills.

-Being able to describe, discuss and analyze the process used by instructors to create a movement of the exercise.

-Conveying of range of feelings through shape/posture and movements.

-Demonstrating the ability to use personal discovery and invention through artistic expression and personal growth.

-Creating a body that demonstrates originality, unity, and clarity of intent.

-performing original works that employ personal artistic inventiveness and effectively communicate at various public events.

3) Historical and cultural context: Understanding the historical contribution and cultural dimension of the arts and fitness. Analyze the function and development through past and present cultures throughout the world, as it relates to health and wellness.

-Identifying all aspects of others in the field or studying where and when.

-Identifying and naming different cultures.

-Explain the various ways people experience movement and activities in their daily lives.

4) Aesthetic assessment and ascribing value: Responding to, analyzing and making a judgement about fitness and the arts. critically assessing and deriving meaning from movement according to the elements of the arts and health and fitness and their aesthetic qualities. This portion of the course will include:

-Explaining the basic features of and deriving meaning from works of the arts and health and fitness and their aesthetic qualities.

-Describing how movement communicates ideas or influences the mood of the individual and their viewer.

-Naming specific criteria to access the quality of a movement and its focus and what level of involvement requires physical control.

-Identifying the specific and challenging characteristics of the experience of the individual in private or in groups.

-Explaining how outstanding results affects others emotionally and intellectually.

-Explain how different venues influence the experience and impact the individual.

-Describing how qualities and execution of the elements contribute to the success of the individual.

-Applying criteria-based assessments appropriate to various forms.

5) Connection, Relationship, Applications: Connecting and applying what is learned to learning other forms and subject areas and apply them to life. Students learning to apply what they learn to learn across additional subject areas. Students develop competencies and creative skills in problem-solving, communication and management of time and resources that contribute to lifelong learning and career skill. This portion of the course will include:

-Giving everyday examples of the relationship between everyday movements and fitness and dance-related movements.

Functional/Physical plan

We take for granted the ease of walking, dribbling a ball or riding a bike. These types of exercises bounce off our spinal cord and do not reach the hypothalamus or cerebral cortex with our special need’s students. Therefore, we want to stimulate the lower brain activity and move into cognitive brain activity.

Warm-ups – Coordination exercises – Balance and Stability exercises – Strength training – Dance movement – Music appreciation – Cognitive drills – Cooldown

Initial preparations consist of warm-ups while standing or seated and stretching routines, followed by prone stretching. Students will then be led through a series of positional movements designed to internalize those movements until they become memorized and second nature through the development of dedicated neural pathways.


The warm-up consists of cardiovascular exercises to raise the body's core temperature and create positive blood flow. Proper breathing is initiated to provide full oxygen intake.

Cardio and range of motion: 

Standing or seated walk, jog or jacks which will increase heart rate

Standing or seated Long stretch which encourages a range of motion

Reach for the sky then reach for the toes

This starts the cardio portion of the class and triggers the students to understand the class is beginning.

Butterfly stretch:

Sit with feet together with knees to the side

Position one: bring feet close to the torso.

Position two: extend feet slightly away from the torso

Position three: extend feet away from the torso as far as it will allow without separating feet

Simple flexibility exercises to open the hips and allow for a full range of motion.

Pike extension:

Coming from butterfly position hold onto toes or ankles and extend legs out in front of you.

This position not only causes the person to participate in a coordinated change of position but stretches the hamstrings and lower back.

Toe pike: 

while seated, extend legs in front of you, put on foot on top of the other reach to with the same arm and stretch then reach for toe with opposite arm and stretch.

All unilateral stretches encourage left and right brain cooperation and also increase flexibility.

Monkey walks:

Both hands and feet touching the ground walking on all fours in opposition.

This is another unilateral movement to increase left brain right brain cooperation.  This also places them in a prone position which strengthens the stabilizer and core muscles.

Crab walks:

Sit putting hands behind you keeping buttocks elevated proceed to walk backward with hands and feet.

This position triggers the contraction of the Gluteal complex and through reciprocal inhibition stretches the hip flexors passively.

Ape walks:

Standing bend forward and reach



Traveling forward to stretch hamstrings and coordination exercise

Works abdominal muscles and shoulder stabilizers.


We concentrate on unilateral movement, so the individual can coordinate opposing sides of the body.

Coordination exercises

Arm twisters:

Right arm up and down

Left-arm upside downside

Now put them together

Reverse O/S

Walking pattern:

Walking in opposition forward and back

Walking and dancing forward and back then to the right to the left-back and forward

This is the gradual addition of new patterns to establish a positional change while moving.

We may establish normal Gait patterns without the participation of the upper brain or hippocampus.  We want this to be reflexive and automatic, not under control of the upper brain.

Strength and Balance:

Strength and Balance exercises

Wall squats:

Put the back up against a wall and sit knees should not exceed your toes.  This position helps to strengthen the erector spine and gluteal complex.  Many autistic patients have poor posture as an escape mechanism to avoid eye contact and emotional response.  This poor posture weakens their ability to stand erect.

Table stance: 

On all fours, hands, and knees on the floor stabilize while beginning to extend one leg out than continuing by extending opposing arm


Hold the body up either on the elbows or the hands extending the core to the knees or the feet and hold hovering over your center

Dance movement:

We utilize basic combinations of movements both rhythmic and repetitive to music to stimulate muscle memory and reflex movements

Progressions and Loco motor skills

Hop: on one foot

Leap: changing weight from foot to foot

Skip: hop on one foot and step

Jump: pressing into the floor and jump both feet for a distance

Bunny hop: bouncing off the floor both feet together

The frog jumps: drop-down jump up and travels the repeat

Side Gallops: travel from side to sidestep out push in the air and land together with other foot

These are simple dance movements to get the student ready for the more complex movements to follow.  these movements allow the student to experience success when balancing and transitioning.


Step clap – Step clap clap – Step clap clap clap – Clap in all four corners

Up up down down – Step step clap

The students now must associate rhythm and tempo with exercise.  This is the foundation of dance exercise.

Cognitive drills:

Cognitive brain activity which is our final stage where you participate not only in group activity but an organized group play to stimulate her upper brain function and socialization skills.

Hot potato

Games to help with social interaction.  This helps the brain develop in areas of social interaction while keeping the heart rate elevated.

Ball dribbles

Dribble right hand only

Dribble left hand only

Dribble exchanging hands

Dribble while traveling using all versions

This helps establish continuance of special objects. By dribbling the ball without making eye contact and using the speed of the ball to guess when to dribble, it helps the student understand time versus movement.

Freeze dance

Following directions and learning to move while following basic instructions, allowing the student individual choice.

We Guarantee Commitment & Quality 

Our breakdowns:

Beginners –           “Cyclones” in three levels of proficiency.
Intermediate –       “Twisters” in three levels of proficiency
Advanced –           “Tornadoes” in three levels of proficiency