Trainers, coaches, and physical education teachers have a lot on their plates. Not only do they need to develop effective training plans for the people and students they teach, but each client or student must also remain engaged to make progress. Teaching someone with a neurodivergent disorder, like autism, can be an additional challenge—one that many coaches may not be equipped to understand or manage.

At Exercise Connection, we know how important it is to communicate with your clients or students effectively. Our resources pave the way for people with autism to progress through an exercise program. Bright colors and visual supports keep people engaged with our Exercise Buddy app and Visual Exercise System. Coaches and trainers can also find professional training through our Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate. Get started today by calling us or browsing our solutions.

Developing the Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate

The challenge of instructing people with autism through an exercise program can be difficult. With the immense benefits that physical activity can provide this community, trainers who learn how to navigate an inclusive exercise program can help them improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Exercise Connection worked diligently with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to develop the Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate (AESC). This program is designed to give trainers the knowledge they need to work with a neurodiverse group of clients.

The AESC provides evidence-based, research-driven content that helps coaches learn how to:

  • Modify an exercise program for someone with autism
  • Understand how autism affects social, behavioral, and physical interactions
  • Implement visual aids and other tools to help people with autism stay engaged
  • Educate parents and caregivers about the benefits of exercise for people with autism

A Trusted Global Partner

The partnership between Exercise Connection and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is recognized around the globe.

ACSM is the world’s largest and most respected exercise science organization for exercise research and sports medicine. Professionals and students worldwide have completed the Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate, including people from Brazil, China, India, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

When earning the Certificate, ACSM certified professionals will obtain up to 12 ACSM CEC’s. Additionally, if professionals are certified through ACE, NSCA, NASM, AFFA the is approved for continuing education units (CEUs) through these organizations. And if Canadian exercise professionals are certified through CSEP or canfit pro, the Certificate is also approved for CEC’s or PDC’s. Earning this Certificate adds ACSM distinction to the professional, but more importantly that professionals who complete it will have the skills they need to work with people with autism.

Who Qualifies for the AESC?

The AESC is open to exercise professionals who want to learn how to work with people with autism, including:

  • NCCA Accredited Exercise professionals
  • NCCA Accredited Personal trainers
  • Physical therapists
  • Physical therapy assistants
  • Physical education teachers
  • Adapted Physical Education Teachers
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Behavioral Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists & COTA’s
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Nurses

Students pursuing a degree in the respective majors above may also qualify to enroll in the course toward the end of their undergraduate studies or during a master’s program.

Earning Your Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate

The Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate is a two-part course. The first involves the Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate CEC online course with five modules. Each module contains several lessons, and students must complete all modules to earn their certificate of completion.

Trainers can access the course at any time, but it is recommended that they set aside about six hours to complete the program. The self-paced program gives students the flexibility to complete the course on their own schedule.

Once you have completed the online modules, the second part involves attending an Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate virtual or in-person workshop to build practical knowledge and hands-on experience regarding the material taught during the online modules. These workshops provide demonstrations of evidence-based techniques to assist people with autism and the opportunity to exchange ideas with your peers.

Become a Better Trainer Today with Exercise Connection

Training people with autism and empowering them to access the benefits of physical activity can make a profound difference. If you’re ready to learn how to make an impact, sign up for the Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate today.

Not only will you improve the lives of those you train, but you’ll also enhance your career and open up new opportunities. The course is the fitness industry’s first and only accredited autism exercise certificate, so you can be sure that it will give you the skills you need to be a successful trainer.

Call us for more information or sign up online today to get started.