Newswise — INDIANAPOLIS –The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Exercise Connection (Chicago, IL) today announced the first-ever exercise certificate to educate and prepare professionals to work with the autism community. The Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate is available to qualified professionals such as physical education teachers, certified fitness professionals, physical, occupational and recreational therapists.

An article published last fall in ACSM’s journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise validates the positive effect of exercise on those with autism. In the article titled “The Effects of Exercise Dose on Stereotypical Behavior in Children with Autism,” researchers concluded that 10-minutes of low- to-moderate-intensity exercise produces significant and large reductions in stereotypical behaviors in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“Teaching exercise to those with autism has a profound impact on both the students and teacher,” said David Geslak, founder of Exercise Connection, an organization driven on using exercise to enhance the lives of those with autism. “Exercise can open up all kinds of opportunities for those dealing with the challenges of autism, so we’re committed to training more professionals of how to engage with this community and successfully teach exercise to them.”

The Autism Exercise Specialist Certificate Program includes webinars, an in-person workshop, exams and functional teaching strategies. Anyone interested in pursuing the certificate should visit for more information. 

“For those living with autism, exercise goes beyond the health-related benefits. Research shows that it can help improve self-esteem, social skills, and on-task behavior,” continued Geslak, “and these benefits will help both children and adults in daily living, the classroom, and the workplace. And the positive results exercise will bring gives parents of those with autism newfound hope and optimism.” 

About ACSM:

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

About Exercise Connection:

Exercise Connection (EC) is using exercise to successfully empower the autism and special needs community to build an active lifestyle and develop an up-and-coming workforce. Twelve universities have incorporated EC programs into their adapted physical education and special education programs. EC regularly presents at autism conferences around the world, which has included Egypt, Dubia, Russia, Canada and Kazakhstan.