What is Autism Fitness Training Certification?
There are plenty of certified fitness trainers in the world that work with people of all ages. The vast majority only work with able-bodied clients who can easily learn new exercises. When working with those with autism or other disabilities, finding someone with an autism fitness training certification can be challenging.
Autism fitness training certification takes being a personal trainer to a new level. One that considers each individual’s specific abilities and needs. In most cases, the person who seeks to become autism fitness training certified is already a certified fitness trainer. But, without proper training is not likely to know how to work with those on the autism spectrum. At the same time, anyone can enroll in an autism fitness training course, ranging from personal trainers to teachers.
This type of training is available at the corporate level for those companies who employ those on the autism spectrum. We offer individual autism fitness certification training at our Special Strong fitness center. For those who are interested in corporate level training, we can take it to their place of business.
The First Stage of Autism Fitness Training Certification?
During the initial phase of certification training, the autism fitness certification course starts with learning more about autism. You will learn about applied behavior analysis and how it intersects with learning styles and system. The course also covers how these concepts apply to exercise sciences and education. These concepts form the basis for creating a functional autism fitness program.
In this part of the autism fitness program, you will spend time learning about autism, its symptoms, and medical history. You will learn a variety of “evidence-based” strategies designed to help both you and your client overcome developmental deficits. This part of the course also covers specific methods of adapting your current training methods. You will learn how to meet the unique needs of those with autism and other special needs.
Just about anyone can enroll in an autism fitness training certification course, including:
- Personal trainers
- Behavior therapists
- Fitness trainers
- Special educators
- Occupational and physical therapists
- Speech pathologists
- Corporate fitness trainers
- Amazing parents
- Any other professional working with the ASD population
Not Just Another Exercise Training Program
The average able-bodied person can learn a wide variety of exercises in a relatively short time. They typically require one or two physical demonstrations and a small amount of verbal coaching. However, when a person is on the autism spectrum, they are likely to have varied learning abilities.
Autism fitness training certification will take your basic fitness training knowledge and modify it. The modifications you learn will help you adapt your teaching style. They also teach you how to adapt to each type of exercise. It is vital that you meet the needs of a client who is on the autism scale to achieve success. Keep in mind that the needs of those on the scale will each have their own needs and learning style.
One of the biggest issues with autism is that it is an individual condition. The disabilities, symptoms, and learning abilities/styles can vary significantly from one person to the next. Therefore, we call it the “autism spectrum.” Virtually no two people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will exhibit the same symptoms, their severity, and frequency.
Putting the Myths to Bed
There are many different misconceptions and myths floating around about autism spectrum disorder. Thanks to the internet, the number of myths increased and how far they have spread. Many of these myths are due to ignorance (not taking the time to learn about ASD). Some of them are known to be quite dangerous.
During our autism fitness certification program, we will talk about these myths and misconceptions. We help you sort out any truths there might be no matter how distorted they may be in these myths. Along with this, we will talk about the facts and realities for those with ASD.
Here are some of the myths that seem to never go away:
- Children on the autism spectrum rarely go to university.
- Those diagnosed with ASD typically end up living in an assisted living facility.
- Autism is nothing more than an emotional disability.
- Autism is a rare medical condition.
What you may not know is that ASD is the fastest growing disability in the U.S. Currently, there are more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with some level of autism spectrum disorder.
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Learning to Help Those on ASD with Autism Fitness Training Certification
There are people who tend to think those with ASD have special abilities such as being an autistic savant. Think of the character Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man who could do amazing calculations in his head. If you go into the field of autism fitness training with this attitude, you are likely to be very disappointed. Most with ASD have average or below-average mental capabilities.
The goal of autism fitness training is to work with each client on an individual basis. By learning how to adapt your training style to each person’s abilities, you give them a chance. You give them the opportunity to become fit and healthy using methods they can understand and work with.
This is a very important concept. The reality is that while you will have to adapt your training methods to meet their needs, they don’t want to be seen as different. This may be one of the most important concepts you will learn during our autism fitness training certification program. You must realize that you can’t use the training methods you would use for an able-bodied person. But at the same time, there is no reason why you can’t use the same teaching methods, just slightly modified.
Working with Those Who Are Nonverbal
A small percentage of those with ASD are unable to communicate verbally. During your training, you will learn methods of fitness training that will help you and your client overcome this deficit. Keep in mind that just because they cannot communicate with you verbally, this doesn’t mean they cannot learn. This may be one of the most common misconceptions about those with autism.
You learn how to recognize their communication methods and how to adapt your training methods to meet their needs. At Certify Strong, we believe that everyone on the autism spectrum can learn to perform a variety of exercise routines. Exercise is not just good for the body it is also good for the brain. Giving those with ASD an outlet that lets them burn off excess energy, reduces the risk of self-injury or aggressive behavior.
Improving Mobility with Skills Learned with Autism Fitness Training Certification
One issue that seems to pervade the ASD community, in general, is problems with mobility. Getting them involved in an autism fitness program with a trainer who has an autism fitness training certification, can help. Their first few sessions in the gym with a certified trainer may be very challenging. Why? Because for many their lack of coordination and physical abilities will make them reluctant to learn and exercise.
You will learn to understand the importance of allowing your client to maintain some control during each training session. Choice of exercises is one of the most common ways to achieve this. Instead of creating a “cast in stone” exercise regimen that is restrictive, be flexible. Let your client choose the exercises they want to perform. By doing this, you allow them to feel as though they have a choice. This simple act will make every session easier.
A Little Praise
A large part of the autism fitness training certification program is learning about praise. You might be used to giving your client a simple “good job” or a high-five. However, when you are working with someone with ASD, this may not be enough to encourage them. You will learn more about how to give effective praise. Instead of a simple “good job,” you need to be a bit more enthusiastic and specific. For example, you might say “great job keeping your knees bent,” this will have a much bigger impact. It will also help to encourage your clients to try harder and most importantly keep coming back.
Of All the Things
Of all the things taking an autism fitness training certification course will teach you, patience is the most important. When working with able-bodied clients, you expect them to learn quickly and not make mistakes. When working with some who has autism spectrum disorder, you must be patient. You may have to repeat the instructions and demonstrate the exercise repeatedly. You may even have to repeat them every time your ASD client comes to you for their fitness training.
This is what autism fitness training certification is all about. The courses you take to achieve certification will teach you how to work with those with ASD. More importantly, you’ll find it won’t matter where they fit on the autism spectrum. Take the time to achieve certification at Special Strong. You will be amazed at how much you enjoy working with your new clients.
Special Strong provides fitness and nutrition for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for personal trainers and service providers who want to work autism and other disabilities.