Exercise is a non-pharmacological intervention with potentially profound effects on autism. It has shown to be an effective treatment for autism by reducing maladaptive behaviors, regulating emotions, and improving communication skills and academics. Aerobic exercise, in particular, has been shown to have the most benefits, likely due to its effect on the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. These areas are regions of the brain that are impacted by autism. However, for many students with autism, it is challenging to engage in exercise without the right support. That is where Exercise Connection comes in.
Exercise Connection is a unique program that provides exercise opportunities for autistic individuals. It offers a variety of exercise options, including a simple, easy-to-use app that your child can use anywhere and everywhere. We have designed the app to cater to the needs of each student. The program also provides a safe and supportive environment for students to exercise, which can be crucial for those with autism. Finally, the staff at Exercise Connection are experts in working with students with autism and are passionate about helping them reach their full potential. If you are looking for an exercise program that can benefit your autistic child, then look no further than Exercise Connection.
Why Is Exercise for Autism Important?
Exercise is an evidence-based practice and rated by parents as the number one autism treatment. 1 in 44 individuals is diagnosed with autism, and their family members will leave no stone unturned to help them. Unfortunately, a multitude of therapies exists that cannot yet be backed by science. Exercise has been proven to work in a big way.
Exercise for those with autism doesn’t just increase fitness levels. It is an important part of learning and play. Research shows that it is a gateway to increasing focus, reducing maladaptive behaviors, and improving social skills and language development.
Enhancing Fitness, Focus, & Family
Research on exercise for those with autism is still in its early stages, but the results so far have been impressive. In one study, children with autism who exercised showed a decrease in repetitive behaviors and an increase in fitness levels. The value of exercise is not that stereotypic behaviors stop but that stress, dysregulation, or feelings of being overwhelmed decrease as a result of physical activity.
Exercise Connection is a unique exercise program that offers exercise opportunities for students with autism. With the help of our Exercise Buddy app and Visual Exercise System, your child can access the benefits of exercise, empowering them to reach their full potential.
Help Your Students Through ACSM Exercise Certificate
Just because you don’t personally have a child on the autism spectrum doesn’t mean that you can’t make a difference in the life of an autistic individual. We offer an autism exercise certificate program that is available for teachers, therapists, and coaches. Through this program, you’ll learn to effectively teach children, youth, and adults with autism how to exercise in a way that makes sense for them. Details about this program include:
- Supported in research
- Created in partnership with the world’s most respected exercise science organization (ACSM)
- Approved provider for ACE, NASM, AFFA, NSCA, CSEP, canfitpro
To learn more about our certificate program, please reach out to Exercise Connection today.
AUTISM & EXERCISE RESEARCH
The Relationship of Motor Skills and Adaptive Behavior Skills in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Megan MacDonald — Oregon State University
Catherine Lord, Dale Ulrich — University of Michigan
Physical Activity and Physical Fitness of School-Aged Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Kiley Taylor, Megan MacDonald — Oregon State University
Kristi Menear — University of Alabama at Birmingham
Using Relationship-Focused Intervention to Enhance the Social—Emotional Functioning of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Gerald Mahoney, Freda Perales — Case Western Reserve University
Bicycle Training for Youth with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Megan MacDonald – Oregon State University
Phil Esposito, Janet Hauck, Irully Jeong, Joseph Hornyak, Angela Argento, Dale A. Ulrich — University of Michigan
The Physical Activity Patterns of Children with Autism
Megan MacDonald - Oregon State University
Phil Esposito, Dale A. Ulrich — University of Michigan
Motor Skills of Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Meghann Lloyd — University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Megan MacDonald, Catherine Lord — University of Michigan
COACH DAVE’S ARTICLES
Challenging Autism with Exercise
2016 ACSM Health & Fitness Journal
Exercise, Autism and New Possibilities
2016 PALAESTRA Research Journal
When "Obvious" Isn't So Obvious...
Some Homework that Works...
The Exercise Connection
Focus on Capabilities
Use Your Imagination to Get Your Child Moving
The Education of Physical Education
SUPPORTING EXERCISE BUDDY RESEARCH
A Comparison of App-Based Video-Modeling Interventions to Teach Physical Activity Skills to People with Autism in a Community Setting
Journal of Special Education Technology
Laura Bassette, Ph.D., BCBA-D, et al., 2020
The Use of Multicomponent Behavioral Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders across Inclusive Community Settings
Behavioral Analysis in Practice
Laura Bassette, Ph.D., BCBA-D, et al., 2018
Exercise Identified as an Evidence-Based Practice for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Melissa Bittner, et. al., 2018
Assistive Technology: What Physical Educators Need to Know
Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Michael K. Laughlin, et. al., 2018
Use of Technology to Facilitate Physical Activity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Study
Physiology & Behavior
Melissa Bittner, et. al., 2017
Learn More About Exercise for Autism at Exercise Connection
At Exercise Connection, we are committed to helping children and adults successfully participate in physical activity, movement, and play in a way that supports their individual needs. If you would like more information about exercise for autism, please contact us today. We would be happy to help you.