Achieving Abilities started officially in June of 2018 when Lauren, trying to pursue her clinical interest in paediatrics and younger adults, found Adelaide was lacking in specialised Exercise Physiology services available to this younger population with chronic health conditions and/or disabilities- a gap desperately needing to be addressed!
Achieving Abilities provides Exercise Physiology services primarily to the Adelaide Metropolitan area. Our aim is to provide specialised exercise prescription, recommendations, and health education to children, adolescents, and young adults with a chronic health condition, disability, developmental delay, or other difficulty.
We provide exercise therapy that promotes optimal functioning, improved health and well being, enhance skill competency, and promote physical activity as an enjoyable experience. We strive to 'achieve abilities'. We focus on the strengths, to build on weakness and ultimately, achieve abilities.
This younger population are often limited in their ability to participate in exercise and physical activity. This may be due to real, or perceived, limitations imposed by their condition.
Unfortunately this puts them at risk of a multitude of additional health conditions associated with physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle. However, for many conditions, exercise can often play a key role in helping to improve quality of life, create a sense of normalcy, help to manage or treat the condition, and help combat the negative impact on health associated with being physically inactive.
Lauren McDougall is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) specialises in paediatric health and disability. She has a passion for empowering the lives of children, adolescents and young adults with a chronic health conditions, disability, developmental delay, or other difficulty, through individually tailored exercise prescription, and healthy lifestyle change.
Lauren finds great passion in the role exercise has for this population, not only in improving their health and wellbeing, but also in watching the individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence grow.
Lauren holds a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of South Australia, as well
as a Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies from Flinders University. As part of her Graduate Certificate, Lauren completed electives related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delay and the management of physical and multiple disabilities to further her knowledge in the area of disability and paediatrics. Lauren has also completed a Yoga teaching course specific to children and teenagers, components of which are often integrated into exercise sessions.
Lauren has written blog articles, and written and contributed to a number of factsheets and publications for Exercise and Sport Science Australia on topics related to paediatric health and disability.
Member of Exercise and Sport Science SA Chapter Advisory Group - Children and Adolescents.
Member of Developmental Coordination Disorder Australia Committee
Guest lecturer, Course Coordinator, and Clinical Exercise Physiology student placement supervisor for UniSA
Lauren consults monthly at Danny's Place.
Danny's Place is where you will find a dedicated team who provide young people like Danny and their families the opportunity to learn and grow into the healthiest version of themselves through the Be Your Best (BYB) Program.
The Be Your Best (BYB) program is a complete medical, nutritional and lifestyle program for 10 -18 year olds with significant obesity related problems. It has been created to give young people the opportunity to become healthier, happier and more confident; while meeting their medical, nutritional and psychological needs. The BYB program is the first program of its type in South Australia.
University of South Australia
- Department of Rural Health
-Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology program
Lauren supervises final year Clinical Exercise Physiology students from UniSA who are on placement at a highschool disability unit, for those students interested in paediatric disability.
Lauren has also recently been involved in developing, and supervising, Professional Industry Honours projects related to paediatrics and disability.
In addition, Lauren is a guest lecturer to final year UniSA students, lecturing in Paediatric Exercise Prescription, as well as running practical classes for students to practice their skills in the Paediatric Exercise Physiology. Lauren has also undertaken course coordination within the Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology program.
Developmental Coordination Disorder Australia
National Committee Member
Lauren is a member of the DCD Australia committee.
After attending their 2-day conference in 2018, Lauren became very passionate about working in this space and providing advocacy and a voice for individuals with DCD.
Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a lifelong condition that makes it hard to learn motor skills and coordination. It’s not a learning disorder per se , but it can impact learning. Kids with DCD struggle with physical tasks and activities they need to do both in and out of school. Think of DCD as a lack of coordination between your mental intentions and your ability to get your body to carry out those intentions.
DCD Australia Vision
Developmental Coordination Disorder Australia Inc. creates and develops an organization that is a support and strength in Australia
DCD Australia Mission
To raise awareness in the community of the complex nature of DCD
To support research that will advance understanding of DCD
To produce strategies and teaching programs for educators and health professionals
To provide community support to families and children affected by DCD