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Challenging Autism With Exercise: An Opportunity Worth Stretching For

Geslak, David S. B.S., ACSM EP-C, CSCS

doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000280

Apply It!: By reading this article, the health and fitness professional will

* Gain a better understanding of autism — Those with autism learn differently. You will learn a successful and proven approach in teaching exercise using visuals, creating structured routines, and establishing the right goals for those with autism.

* See an opportunity to help — School systems that are challenged with limited resources are leaving those with autism both wandering and wondering in physical education classes. Parents of children with autism who are already overwhelmed with therapies, education, and difficult family dynamics need your help to introduce the proven benefits of exercise. This is important, not only because of the health benefits exercise brings, but in the autism population, exercise also helps to reduce maladaptive behaviors and improves focus and academics.

David S. Geslak, B.S., ACSM EP-C, CSCS, is the founder of Exercise Connection, which has pioneered exercise tools and programs to engage and improve the lives of those with autism. He has created an iPad® app, ExerciseBuddy®, which has been endorsed by eight universities. He has presented his programs across the United States and in Egypt, Dubai, Canada, Barbados, and Russia, where the autism community has embraced his message and is especially encouraged by his results.

Disclosure: The author declares no conflict of interest and does not have any financial disclosures.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine.