By David Geslak, ACSM EP-C
An ACSM/Exercise Connection Autism Exercise Specialist certificate holder is an exercise professional, physical or adapted physical education teacher, physical therapist, recreational therapist, or special education professional (see below) who understands the needs and strategies used with autism when implementing an individual or group exercise program in a gym, home, or classroom setting.
The Autism Exercise Specialist CEC course is the prerequisite to the Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate. The CEC course involves completing Online Modules, which will establish the foundational framework of understanding autism, evidence-based teaching practices, and exercise program design to prepare you to work with those on the autism spectrum.
Once you receive the Certificate of Completion for the CEC course, you have earned 6.00 ACSM CECs and are now qualified to take the in-person workshop for the Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate. More information about the in-person workshops can be found at AutismExerciseSpecialist.com.
The ACSM/EC Autism Exercise Specialist will be able to:
• use standard health assessment tools and when available, school-based or private assessments, to develop the foundation of client’s exercise program,
• develop exercise programs and demonstrate exercises by applying evidence-based teaching strategies for those with autism,
• lead and motivate individuals in both an individual and group setting,
• use various instructional strategies (e.g., visual supports, videos, technology) to promote physical activity,
• create a positive exercise experience and enhance social skills, and
• communicate to autism parents, special educators, and other professionals the value of exercise for the autism community.