Exercising and staying active is beneficial even to people with special needs or disabilities. Through Autism Fitness and Strong Education, they train more fitness coaches, therapists, and educators to accommodate special needs’ demands. However, these certifications also have differences in terms of goals, focus, scope, and methods.
In this article, we will explore how they differ from one another so you’ll understand which fits you the most.
What is Autism Fitness Certification and Special Needs Certification?
Autism Fitness Certification
The Autism fitness certification is a standardized fitness model designed for those who have Autism worldwide. They have customized programs, events, and tools inside the Autism fitness framework that enable them to have fun while also practicing their social interaction skills. They believe that as patients recover, they should have fun as well.
Most of the patients are children who don’t know how to use their brain and mind properly. Their goal is to alter their behavior while having the enjoyment that all kids should have. This new habit will then be translated into their daily life wherever they may be.
Autism fitness certification has an educational branch that caters to the needs of the patients. Whether it be seminars, informational products, or direct consultation, Autism Fitness will assist you. They believe in a hassle-free and convenient service that parents can check up on them through the phone, online, or wellness center site location.
Their mission is to educate everyone that Autism is a serious thing, and everyone must have basic knowledge in dealing with Autism clients or patients. This is why fitness professionals try and explain the procedures done, such as training for Autism and fitness for Autism. Through these educational platforms, we try to gain the trust of parents, therapists, and educators.
This program is essential because Autism should be treated as a lifelong pursuit regardless of recovery. Autism Fitness does the best they can, but some have a disability in a worse state than the others. There are also cases in which patients forget what they have learned in the wellness center, resulting in going back to the start with their repetitive behavior. It is crucial that everyone, whether in the household, a friend, or whoever gets educated on how to impact Autism. This is so there wouldn’t be any problem in the future with temporary lapses.
What they do
They primarily create programs and tools designed for those people with Autism. They also make different courses and tools to interact with trainers, therapists, educators, and parents. As stated in their mission, they hope to create an interactive bubble of people trying to combat the disability.
It is a belief that the more educated people become, the more this issue will be raised. A dedicated community of professionals with the same goal will make a big difference for ongoing personal development. Through these programs, everyone is taught to invest in making a difference.
Just by gaining knowledge on Autism, you’re doing so much to around 1% of the world population with developmental deficiencies. These powerful daily living outcomes will last a lifetime. You can’t help everyone with the disorder, but just helping at least one person will make it all worth it.
How they do it
With this certification, you can learn from anywhere and on the fly. They understand that not everyone will want to go to a wellness center to access all their designed programs and modules online or downloaded. You can also have your trainer from the comfort of your home through an online class designed just for you.
There are also online group classes as one of Autism fitness goals is to fix the three areas of development. Their online course is called the PAC Method, which comes in two parts, with one level revolving around academic lecture material and practical learning applications. The first part is nine online lessons through the learning management system.
The good thing about this is that this is replayable, so the patients can take their time to go through these lessons. They also have the option to replay backward if there was something they did not understand. This is because the trained professionals understand their mental condition and try to make it as easy as possible.
The second part will be held in regional locations around the globe. This is the part when they will test you face to face on what you’ve learned while also going through training for Autism and fitness for Autism. This is more about gaining knowledge and skills over what concepts and strategies to use as an Autism patient for level one.
This is where you’ll know your limits and capabilities and if you’re doing too much or not. This PAC method has been proven reliable for years in delivering optimal fitness to the Autism population.
Why it works
This certification works because this is an innovative certification. They believe in the saying that learning occurs in a lifetime and that there is always a tweak that can be made to make your certification better. Once you have an idea, the question is, what are you going to do with this idea? They started with this and solid foundational knowledge.
The next step was to build a team of committed and dedicated professionals. They believe certification will not succeed if it did not have the right people behind it, so they only hired those who were properly trained and wanted to do the job solely to make a difference instead of making money. It is also through a team in which certification can start building expert skills that will be a key in maximizing mastery.
Eric Chessen is basically the brains behind this whole operation. He was the one who came up with the Autism fitness programming strategies. These are the same strategies that have been constantly changed, tweaked, and adapted for the past 20 years whenever new knowledge was discovered.
Starting as just a fitness trainer, Eric had the then strange goal of developing fitness programs for teens on the Autism spectrum. Now, he continues to be a role model with his help on the ASD community; future generations will surely recognize his work.
In this section, you will learn the purpose of Adaptive Special Needs Certification.
Adaptive Special Needs Certification
Adaptive special needs certification is an online course or class that teaches trainers and professionals to adapt fitness and nutrition for individuals with special needs and other disabilities.
Mission and Goals
Strong Education aims to provide inclusive training for trainers who will accommodate people with special needs and other disabilities. They would like to help in creating trainers and therapists that help people with Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and more. They are not only focusing on Autism but other disabilities as well. They have a more comprehensive range of target clients. Also, people who have physical disabilities, such as limited mobility, are part of this program. This certification allows you to reach and help more people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Additionally, trainers will learn effective science-based techniques for working one-on-one and in group settings with people who have special needs and other disabilities. The program provides you with lessons, materials, and tools that you can utilize to teach and touch people with special needs and disabilities. They also offer various ways on how to train with them, including one-on-one and collaborative training. Moreover, they also focused on building authentic relationships with them and let them socialize with other people too.
If you want to advance your career and get paid to do personally fulfilling work you feel passionate about, Strong Education will guide you. And, if you have a desire to help people with special needs and other disabilities grow and gain skills and confidence, it would be best to enroll in a class that provides your needs.
Learning to distinguish the target audience helps in the decision-making and clarity of the business. Both certifications aim to train people to cater to the needs of the special population. In Autism Fitness, here is the list of their target audience.
Being a fitness professional doesn’t end with the teaching people how to achieve their weight and fitness goals. In fact, fitness is a life skill that is critical for every person to have regardless of gender and age. Similarly, as a fitness professional, you will be able to use your skills in helping the autistic population, not only make them fit and healthy but also to build the traits of a disciplined, productive, and fit individual.
Autism Fitness Certification training for Autism brings enjoyment and fun in learning by incorporating various fitness for Autism in the program for all spectrums of autistic individuals. You will be able to learn these skills to incorporate them into your own setting. You will also learn how to support the individual’s holistic growth and health by encouraging creativity in the provided activities. Through this, they will learn how to be resilient even through various challenges that they will face in their lives.
With the Autism Fitness Certification, you will be taught the necessary skills to use the techniques you already know to serve the autistic population. You will be trained through various exercises and workshops to meet the clients’ needs and improve their overall physical, mental, and emotional health through the fitness regimens.
Therapists have been trained to diagnose and identify autistic tendencies, and with this program, your skills in handling these individuals will improve dramatically. You will be able to provide the medical needs that they need, but you will also see their whole holistic growth and have a new approach to helping them become better. Through the scientific-based methods available in the program, you will become a certified special needs trainer. You will be equipped with the tools and materials needed to advance your career specializing in serving individuals with Autism and other special needs.
The blended learning program is fitness for Autism virtual training led by a comprehensive instructor. It is composed of two parts: the part 1 with nine online lessons with Autism Fitness academic lectures with the instructor and the part 2 with hands-on application of the things they have learned so far, and it will be held simultaneously all over the world. In the level one of the programs, you will learn the critical concepts needed to meet the needs and demands of the autistic population.
After this program, you will surely leave more confident with the skills you have acquired, and you will be able to implement it anywhere you are, may it be in a clinic, home, or recreational center for training for Autism.
You might face many challenges if you teach in a need-based classroom setting since many existing barriers hinder you from teaching and relaying information to your students effectively.
Through this program, you, as an educator, will be able to eliminate these barriers and help them through one-on-one and collaborative training so they can not only learn in the fun and creative activities, but they will also be able to have strong and authentic relationships with other people. You will be taught various adaptive programming solutions to the common challenges an educator faces in the modern classroom. You will also be equipped with the necessary skills to help them gain life skills and confidence to prepare them for the different things they will face in life.
The program will also give you science material lessons perfect for middle and high school students to educate them about Autism and other disorders. This will help you to share awareness with students in a general classroom setting effectively.
For children with Autism, there might be a delay in various skills such as speaking, walking, and reading. As an educator, this program will help you identify these delays in their development and learn how to decrease their impact on their learning curve. You will also learn how to keep track of the milestones that they go through in their personal development. Once you return to your own classroom, you will also be more confident with your communication skills with parents and guardians if you suspect someone with delayed development and guide them to grow their children better.
Even as parents or caregivers, it is important to learn the effective science-based techniques effectively and actively help those who have special needs and other disabilities. Contrary to popular belief, parents should be a part of learning how to manage and deal with their children or family members who have special needs that need to be met.
There is so much power to involving you as parents and caregivers in their Autism intervention, and it can never be underestimated. With this program, you will be provided with the necessary lesson materials and the required tools to relate more with your loved ones who have special needs and disabilities. You will also be able to build a stronger relationship with them and with others authentically. This program will help you be the bridge for them to communicate with the people around them, especially their family and friends. Indeed, parents and caregivers play a huge role in developing the client’s growing independence and social skills throughout their life.
You will be taught numerous parent or caregiver implemented interventions that will provide your loved ones with opportunities to grow and learn in their day to day activities and tasks. If they are learning these with you as a supportive parent or caregiver, the process becomes natural to them, and this will ensure that they will learn from the best possible teachers they can have – parents and caregivers.
On the other hand, Strong Education aims to serve the special population and educate trainers, parents, therapists, nutritionists, and many more. Have an in-depth understanding of who is their target audience.
Who They Serve
Their adaptive special needs fitness and nutrition instructors have proudly served over 1,500 clients with disabilities. Like other individuals, people with disabilities or people with unique diseases must receive proper programs to enhance their skills and talents. Moreover, having physical activities help improve their stamina and muscle strength conditions. It also reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhances well-being.
Most of them are afraid to try new exercise at first, but they get used to it as they continuously make an effort. Through the Adaptive Special Needs Certification, special needs fitness and nutrition instructors can overcome their weaknesses and fears. Also, through the help of their guide, they build confidence to perform. Apart from that, they will also have an equal opportunity to learn and socialize like other people. Besides training special needs clients to conquer their limitations, they also build relationships with the instructors.
However, teaching them also requires diverse approaches, equipment, and care because it is not easy for them to cope with others’ pace. Their educators must have patience and consistency to teach them. Proper motivation can also lift the hype and mood of the special needs clients. In addition, people with disabilities get inspired with their coach’s ability to teach and encourage them. With the heavy responsibility, personal trainers need to undergo a training program to have an Adaptive Special Needs Certification. This way, they can cater the needs of their clients.
This certification has helped people with disabilities ranging from rare diseases to common conditions. Some of them have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and Down Syndrome. The adaptive training is proven safe for any mental, physical, and cognitive challenges. They have improved their overall health, including cognitive and sensory skills, through our instructors’ help.
Who They Educate
They educate personal trainers, passionate parents, Special educators, Physical Education teachers, therapists, and many more in this course. They can learn effective techniques and strategies to work with people who have special needs and other disabilities. In this training, they can also learn how to navigate taking nutrition recommendations and create a more straightforward exercise. Upon completion of the program, you will have Adaptive Special Needs Certification.
Being an educator and fitness guide is not easy, most especially when your clients have unique needs. It takes effort and time to study how they can learn what you want to teach them. Through this course, you can learn to design workout programs and get easy step-by-step tactics for motivation and challenge behaviors through our online certification course for trainers and providers. This certification formulates techniques and strategies that are easier for them. Most importantly, at these challenging moments, what they need is encouragement.
As an instructor and trainer for their unique needs, they learn how to correct and encourage them. Moreover, they are also responsible for their confidence building because clients have difficulty adapting to adversity. Most special needs clients have their meltdowns triggered by sounds or lighting. But, with the guidance of the trainers, they can overcome this. By using exercise as a tool, they can prevent future meltdowns.
Working with special needs clients make the day fulfilling. Knowing that this work has significant impacts on the population of special needs is an achievement. Through the instructors who have undergone training patiently, they can already teach and help individuals to grow and gain skills and confidence
What You Will Learn from Autism Fitness Certification
Autism Fitness and Strong Education provides training and materials to teach Personal Trainers. At the end of the course, here are the lessons and skills you will learn.
In the first section, we will discuss the skills you will learn from Autism Fitness Certification.
#1: Why Fitness is Essential for the ASD Population
Exercise can change lives. It could even be considered as medicine. With an abundance of studies centered on youth with Autism, health professionals and fitness experts can now claim that physical fitness is vital for the ASD population. It is highly beneficial for them for several reasons.
There is a need for ASD patients to maximize their social and communication skills to help them develop. Through fitness activities, individuals with Autism can utilize their social and communication skills. Some examples of these activities include exergaming (Nintendo Wii and other video games that require physical activity), horseback riding, running, jogging, and different kinds of group play.
Social skills develop through physical activity as they interact with others and build relationships. It is also double-serving as ASD patients also develop their fitness in a safe and enjoyable space. There is also an outlet for them to learn how to interact non-verbally, which helps them practice their nonverbal communication skills.
Bulking up is not the reason why ASD patients should pursue fitness. Instead, they benefit from fitness by enhancing their muscular strength and endurance through several activities. It is typical for them not to have the same endurance and muscle strength their peers have. However, this could be tweaked by encouraging them to participate in fitness activities such as sports and non-structured games.
As compared to others, individuals who have ASD have lower fitness skills. This means that they find it challenging to find balance, body coordination, visual-motor control, and other mobility skills. By providing them with fitness activities such as jumping on a trampoline, motor skill training, and horseback riding, you are also giving them opportunities. These opportunities allow them to discover their potential to become greater individuals and pursue their passions.
Improvement of Quality of Life
Their improvement also varies across different health domains when they choose to become fit, as it would help with their cardiovascular, emotional, and cognitive health. It also helps them become less repetitive and inattentive. Apart from this, their compliance, self-regulation, and social and emotional functionality is also massively improved.
# 2: Common Physical and Motor Deficits
- Sensory Deficits – It is common among ASD patients to have extreme reactions to sensory stimulation. This tends to make them either hypertensive or hypotensive. Since taking part in fitness activities allows them to become more self-regulatory, it may help their sensory deficits by handling and controlling the sensations and reactions.
- Fine Motor Deficits – Simple tasks like tying their shoes or coloring may agitate some ASD patients. Some even find trouble with writing. By allowing them to explore physical activities, they can develop patience and determination to do tasks. This will build their compliance and functionality.
- Gross Motor Deficits – Most ASD patients have difficulty walking normally. Sometimes, they observe walking patterns such as the “toe walk,” wherein they walk only on their toes. This is because they do not have a usual sense of themselves or the environment. However, through fitness activities, they become more aware of themselves and their surroundings. Since muscular strength and endurance are also improved, they become less clumsy.
#3: Understanding Physical, Adaptive & Cognitive Abilities
Individuals with ASD are immediately stereotyped to be out of control and incapable of carrying out tasks that require great physical ability.
However, through exercise and physical fitness, they too can develop their physical health. Studies have proven that exercise improves their concentration and organizational skills.
By being taught in an adapted manner catering to their special needs, ASD patients can quickly learn just about anything physical ability known to man.
As an example, you can easily teach an ASD individual baseball by taking them step-by-step through the process with visual cues. You may also add reinforcements.
Their physical abilities are not immediately limited to what they know upon their birth. These could continue to improve over time with the right amount of teaching.
Another stereotype ASD patients experience is that they are incapable of functioning normally in social settings. They are never portrayed as people persons.
However, since fitness encourages a decrease in repetitive behaviors and extreme outbursts, it allows ASD individuals to improve their adaptive abilities.
Since they are immersed in group activities and have interactions with others in fitness activities, they exercise and improve their adaptive skills and adaptive social behaviors.
Simple tasks such as taking a shower, brushing their teeth, smiling at people, preparing a meal, and others become easier for them to accomplish as they can easily learn from the people they interact with.
Teaching fitness to individuals with ASD is one way to encourage this because it gives them a medium for peer-to-peer interaction.
Just like any of us, individuals with ASD also have cognitive strengths and weaknesses. However, their cognitive abilities are immediately stereotyped to seeing ASD patients as insensitive, uncontrollable, albeit being hyperaware.
By encouraging them to take part in physical activities, they would become more able to reel in certain urges due to knowing its consequences with human interaction. It also allows them to be more sensitive as they are aware of others’ reactions.
#4: Addressing Challenging Behavior
To effectively address a behavioral issue, especially in individuals with ASD, you must successfully identify the correct definition to apply the correct intervention.
Through immersing in fitness activities with ASD patients, you can gauge their reactive behaviors more. You would know what type of attitude to take with them to help them comply or learn through this.
You can also set a rewards system to help them become more inclined to reach specific goals that can motivate them to do good behavior.
#5: The BIG Difference Between Can’t vs Won’t
One common challenge among individuals with ASD is there Can’t VS Won’t mindset.
The Can’t mindset expresses that they have no idea how to do the task, while the Won’t perspective shows their defiance and refusal to do a task.
Instead of treating this negatively, by allowing them to engage in physical fitness activities, you get better in touch with them and why they can’t or won’t do something.
With the skills they learn from you and the reinforcement you can give, you can quickly help them overcome or lessen the can’t or won’t attitude.
In addition, by spending more time with individuals with ASD, you can correctly identify which of the two mindsets they are exhibiting.
#6: Assessment of Physical, Adaptive, and Cognitive Skills via the Pac Profile
With the PAC Profile, assessing the physical, adaptive, and cognitive skills of an ASD athlete becomes easier to do. This is because you can derive a proper approach based on evidence-supported research and real-life experiences.
In addition, knowing the PAC Profile method allows you to have a better working knowledge of the programs you can use in any environment that would be catered to developing the physical, adaptive, and cognitive skills of individuals with ASD who would like to partake in physical fitness.
#7: Goal Setting in each of the 3 Areas of Development
The three areas of development being discussed here are those affected by Autism, also known as the “triad of impairments.” These are social development, communication, and repetitious behaviors, and restricted interests. These impairments usually involve human interaction, so Autism Fitness has tasks that make the patients listen and talk with one another or with the trainers.
For the repetitive behaviors, they use behavior therapy support, which teaches patients certain things to alter their behavior. The goal is for them to lose the habit of repetitive behavior slowly. Autism fitness firmly believes that all types of behavior can be addressed regardless of the mental condition.
There is no cure for Autism, but Autism Fitness tries to do the best to address these three areas. They have specific goals and activities using training and fitness to combat Autism. These training sessions will help the patient reduce their symptoms, improve cognitive ability, and function as naturally as possible.
#8: Positive Behavior Support
This is a type of behavior support that is very popular in the world of Psychology. This uses applied behavior analysis that applies empirical approaches based upon the rules of classical and operant conditioning. The goal here is to change a person’s behavior or, in the first experiment of conditioning, Pavlov’s dog.
This behavioral analysis also believes that inappropriate behavior learned, especially in childhood, is very difficult to change. The logic behind this is that the behavior now functions in the child’s brain, which gives them a habit and a purpose to do the action. If they are still children, they would not know how to use their minds and brains in the right manner.
Now, imagine how challenging it is for someone who has Autism. These behaviors are also caused by reinforcement in the environment. This is normal because this is how humans adapt to the world, through their environment. As a child, this where they learn their first thoughts and actions, including the undesired behavior.
A method used in Autism Fitness to address this issue and in numerous psychological experiments is to reward their positive behavior. With this method, the child will try and change their behavior because they are looking forward to the reward.
#9: Progressions and Regressions of Exercise
This is crucial because those who have Autism need to be trained appropriately. They don’t behave as well as those who do not have the condition, their energy is less, and their cognitive ability is lower. An average 30-minute class done in gyms may be too enough for them and may even have terrible side effects such as seizures and comas.
This is why Autism Fitness has trained professionals who handle these kinds of patients; they know their limits and capabilities and ensure their safety. A method used by these trainers is the progressions and regression of exercise. An exercise regression means to decrease any exercise or movement, while an exercise progression is the opposite by incrementally increasing the demand, whether it be minor or major changes.
With this technique, the trainers will observe their patients while taking note of their mental condition. Having a progression system and regression is essential when designing training programs regardless of whether you have a mental condition or not. It is needed to stay fit and healthy, lessening the chances of burnout.
#10: Program Development for Individuals and Groups
Autism Fitness makes sure you’re getting the right treatment, and you have individual treatments that differ per patient. Each patient has their own set of skills, and some may have a mental condition worse or better than the others, which is why individual personalized workouts are needed. They also designed group training, which will also help with the interaction of the patients.
It is said that doing things as a group, whether working out or something as simple as talking, can increase one’s cardiovascular fitness. Program development consists of formulating and doing work plans that will surely help the patients’ social development and communication deficiencies. It is said that once finishing the program; the patients will leave confident with improved physical, adaptive, and cognitive abilities as they’ve adapted to the exercises and movements.
These are skills they can bring with them anywhere, whether at home, school, or anywhere else: this is a good step in their recovery.
#11: Putting it all together during the live, full-day hands-on practical
This is where all the skills the patients learned will be put to the test. This is a live practical with no do-overs, and this is where we can see if Autism Fitness Certification is truly reliable or not. They have fitness professionals, behavioral therapists, etc. working with the patients for an extended amount of time, and they are confident in each one of them.
This full-day will include everything learned in Level 1 of the certification. This level taught the patients to differentiate right from wrong, which would help them in decision making. Another is the PAC Profile, which is more of the fitness aspect for the patients.
This is where they will have to know how to use their physical, adaptive, and cognitive skills using their hands-on applications from real-life experience and evidence-based research. Autism Fitness firmly believes that there is no better training for Autism like this in the world. They think they are better than any other certification when it comes to Autism because that is the only disorder they tackle.
They think others try to tackle several different types of disorders that they don’t have one specialty. The Autism fitness certification made by Eric Chessen has been tested, implemented, and refined for nearly 20 years with constant praise.
On the contrary, here are the skills you will adapt to having a Special Needs Certification.
What You Will Learn from Special Needs Certification
CBSE Inclusive Learning Model
The founder of Certify Strong, along with a brain integration specialist, created the CBSE Inclusive Learning Model. This learning model aims to make our clients’ three different aspects: the mind, body, and spirit, healthier. The goal in mind is to enable them to live more independently and to allow them to flourish on their own.
Current scientific research regarding the special needs population paved the way for creating the CBSE Inclusive learning model. This way, we will be able to give our clients a purposeful way to exercise.
By enrolling in our Special Needs Certification program, you will also be trained and lectured about the CBSE Inclusive Learning Model. This works by having four targets for improvement. These targets include the following:
- Core, Balance, and Flexibility
- Brain and Sensory System
- Strength and Muscle Development
- Endurance and Stamina Adaptation
Core, Balance, and Flexibility
The first target of the CBSE Inclusive Learning Model is the Core, Balance, and Flexibility. Here, our focus is to teach our clients the functional movements that are scientifically proven to enhance core strength. Aside from that, we also aim to share how they can increase their balance by doing passive and static stretching to augment their flexibility. Doing so will improve the outcomes in the abilities required for them to get the most out of their daily lives.
When you enroll in our Special Needs Certification program, you will learn that Core, Balance, and Flexibility are the fundamental aspects of a human body that allows a person to execute movements and occupations. Improving these three aspects will be very helpful, especially for someone who has special needs.
As you can see, the special needs population’s usual provocations are neuromotor difficulties and low muscle tone. These things contribute to appalling core activation, balance, and flexibility. As a result, the people experiencing these things often have postural problems and can easily fall, get injuries, and other muscular imbalances. Furthermore, it is also why the special needs populations usually have deficits in their daily occupations, factors performance skills, performance patterns, and in their context and environments.
Brain and Sensory System
The human brain is the center of control for all our body functions and senses. To be able to enhance the living experience of people further, they must be taught exercises that can give an environment for new neurological pathways to be created- this is the second target of our CBSE Inclusive Learning Model.
To provide an environment where new neurological pathways will be built, we are teaching repetitive movements. In return, these movements make muscle memory across the body’s transverse line and midline, left or right brain connections, and also the bottom or to brain connections.
However, why do you think that it is essential to build these connections? These neurological networks can assist the special needs population and enable them to multi-task, have enhanced socialization skills, decreased melt-downs, reduced anxiety and heightened sensory activities, and, most importantly, increased independence.
These neural networks can improve a person’s mental functions, their ability to execute their daily occupations, performance patterns, and performance skills. There are already many clients who underwent this program that have been able to land a job because of their different independence levels.
Strength and Muscle Development
In this third target of our CBSE Inclusive Learning Model, our goal is to help you build your strength and develop muscles. We teach our clients anaerobic exercise, like resistance training, which includes a short burst of intense movement. By doing these exercises, you will be able to develop leaner muscles and enhance your body’s stamina.
We also teach our clients how to adapt traditional resistance training exercises to promote the muscles’ development. There are many benefits that a person can get from doing anaerobic exercises regularly.
First, it can increase bone strength and density. In return, this can help improve postural problems and minimize the risk of osteoporosis in the future. Next, anaerobic exercises, which include resistance training, promote weight maintenance.
Aside from that, anaerobic exercises are also scientifically proven to increase the power of a person. It can also help boost the metabolism of a person and increase his or her lactic threshold. Besides these things, it can also help protect the joints of the body by helping form leaner muscles around it.
These benefits, significantly increasing muscle development and tone, will help the special needs population improve their day-to-day occupations, performance patterns, and performance skills.
Endurance and Stamina Adaptation
Lastly, in the fourth target of our CBSE Inclusive Learning Model, which is Endurance and Stamina Adaptation, we aim to impart aerobic exercises to our clients, especially the steady-state cardio that involves the use of oxygen for extended periods.
There are many short and long-term benefits that the clients will get from making aerobic exercise a part of their routine. The first one is the improvement of their cardiovascular health. With this, there is a lowered risk of heart problems in the future by raising the good cholesterol level and diminishing the level of the bad one.
Aside from that, it also helps with lowering the blood pressure and regulating the blood sugar levels. Clients can also find it helpful to aid with their sleep, regulate their body weight, and boost their immune system.
Moreover, it can improve brain power by making the tissues inside the brain more robust. Most importantly, it can also help improve the mood, which helps the special needs population. Through this, we are making improvements on the self-regulation for it to be more effective and id the body in learning how to adapt to stress,
Clients who have tried these exercises showed increased endurance and stamina and improved in various areas such as ambulation, occupation, performance patterns, and performance skills.
Do you know that meltdowns are different from tantrums? Yes, you read that right. Meltdowns are significantly harder to manage compared to tantrums. However, you should not worry about it so much because one of the skills you will get from enrolling in our special needs certification program is effectively managing meltdowns of people who have special needs or Autism.
In handling people with special needs, predicting what causes their behavioral and emotional meltdowns from day to day, situation to situation, and environment to environment is indeed a tough challenge, especially if you have zero experience in handling one before.
Through our program, you will be taught how different Autism tantrums and Autism meltdowns. You will also learn the characteristics of each to gauge a better understanding. Aside from that, you will even know that they cannot be addressed in the same way.
Moreover, you will also learn that there are sympathetic parts of our autonomic nervous systems that produce cortisol hormones in times of anxiety and stress. These cortisol hormones trigger a “fight or flight response.” This is hard to manage for people with Autism or sensory processing dysfunction. When they experience sensory overstimulation, they do not have the means to regulate the sensory inputs coming from their environment. As a result, their bodies perceive these inputs as threats, and this instance leads to meltdowns.
You will also gain knowledge about the different triggers of meltdowns. These triggers could be sound, lighting, or even trying a new activity. After the discussions about these topics, we will teach you the best practices for calming Autism meltdowns. We will also teach you exercises that could be utilized to prevent future occurrences of breakdowns.
Counseling can do miracles, especially for the special needs population. In most cases, people who are medically diagnosed with special needs are perceived to find it hard to accept society’s demands. One of the main reasons for this perception is society’s treatment of them. Usually, they are discriminated against and are looked down upon with disgust.
There is a misconception that counseling is just about giving advice. However, that is not the case with the skill that you will learn from us. What you will learn from us is counseling that is talking therapy. This can enhance their life and can be used to promote positive change.
One of the things that we will make sure you have when you decide to take our special needs certification program is becoming a good counselor. You will learn how to conduct person-centered counseling, and you will have the professional knowledge and personal insight to offer a deep understanding of disability issues.
The person-centered counseling approach aims to help the client achieve personal growth, allowing them to change within by providing a confidential space of acceptance, genuineness, understanding, and empathy. We will teach you how to connect and build trust to create a safe space for the special needs population where there is someone who can understand and relate to their personal experiences.
You will also learn how to utilize the so-called “motivational interviewing” to promote behavior change and redirect the attention of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Besides that, you will also need to know how to interact with their parents and guardians and encourage them to become cooperative and be a good support system to help facilitate the counseling session.
The next skill that you will learn if you decide to get your certification from us is simplifying exercises. When dealing with the special needs population, you will realize that what is simple for a neurotypical person is very hard for them. These things may be as simple as doing an exercise- like jumping, squat, and many more.
However, they are in dire need of having a lifestyle. They should be physically active to prevent further complications. They can get plenty of benefits if they are exercising regularly. This includes longevity because physical activities are scientifically proven to increase a person’s lifespan by helping ease the blood flow and improving one’s respiratory and cardiovascular health.
Regular exercise also promotes weight loss that can lessen the possibility of diabetes for people with special needs. Aside from that, it also helps fight off obesity and the risk of getting heart complications in the future.
Moreover, it helps the special needs population by alleviating stress and anxiety and giving them something to focus their attention on. It can also help in their behavioral improvement by soothing and preventing emotional outbursts.
But how do we simplify exercises? Well, you can think about the step-by-step process of how a baby learns to walk. It is simple. We apply the same concept to practices- we break it down step-by-step, which we are teaching to our clients. We refer to this method as regressions and progressions, although many professionals call it grading.
Diet to Meal Translation
The skill of translating one’s diet into a meal is one of the essential skills that you will learn from us. Managing the meals and diet of people with special needs is challenging. You will have to know what kind of disability they are dealing with to provide nutrition recommendations.
Through our course, you will learn how to manage meals for both overweight and underweight people. You will also understand how nutrition recommendations vary for epilepsy, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or bipolar disorder.
One of the other challenges that we will teach you to navigate is that someone who has special needs may have nutrition goals, translating nutritional recommendations to plate harder. Through taking our course, you will learn how you can navigate yourself through this challenge!
Autism Fitness Certification vs Special Needs Certification
Mission and Objectives
Autism Fitness Certification aims to create and bring practical, fun, and meaningful fitness and adaptive PE programs to as many Autism spectrum disorders as possible. Their focus is to build and grow Autism clients’ overall health. Also, Autism Fitness promotes creative and fun activities for them. This way, they will be willing to adapt to adversities despite difficulties and uncertainties.
The educational branch of Autism Fitness, such as info products, on-site and distance consulting, and seminars, wants to educate fitness professionals, special educators, therapists, and parents. With the materials and tools, they aim to enlighten and teach people how to deal with autistic clients. There are materials and handbooks available to study so that they can guide them properly. Moreover, by empowering them, they will be able to transform the lives of autistic clients.
As fitness should be treated as a life skill and lifelong pursuit, it is crucial that every individual, regardless of age or ability, have access to exercise and movement programs that meet their needs. This signifies that everyone, including people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, must have an opportunity to be fit and healthy. Through this program, they can help them be productive and disciplined. Moreover, Autism Fitness designed exercises and workouts that will meet the abilities of the clients. Because it is also essential that Autistic clients focus on their health, having a training course to improve their physical, mental, and emotional aspects is a must.
On the other hand, Special Needs Certification aims to provide inclusive training for special needs and other disabilities. They would like to help people with Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, and more. They are not only focusing on Autism but other disabilities as well. They have a more comprehensive range of target clients. Also, people who have physical disabilities, such as limited mobility, are part of this program. This certification allows you to reach and help more people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Learn effective science-based techniques for working one-on-one and in group settings with people who have special needs and other disabilities. The program provides you with lessons, materials, and tools that you can utilize to teach and touch people with special needs and disabilities. They also offer various ways on how to train with them, including one-on-one and collaborative training. Build authentic relationships with them and let them socialize with other people too.
Advance your career and get paid to do personally fulfilling work you feel passionate about. If you want to help people with special needs and other disabilities grow and gain skills and confidence, it would be best to enroll in a class that provides your needs.
Autism Fitness Certification is similar to Special Needs Certification in terms of providing materials, equipment, tools, and handbooks to provide training. Also, both certifications are based on scientific methods that help the trainers and clients. However, they are different in focused clients.
Eric Chessen started Autism Fitness Certification. He had an opportunity to create fitness programs for teenagers on the Autism spectrum and undergo high-level ABA training both clinically and academically when he began his career as a fitness trainer. As he became increasingly dedicated to working with this unique population, Eric found a near-total lack of information concerning best practices and approaches when creating fitness programs for those with Autism. Although he lacks in information and knowledge, he dedicated and pursued to learn more about fitness programs that suit Autism.
Steadily, and over a decade working with hundreds of athletes who had a significant variance in their ability levels, he began to create the outline for Autism Fitness as a business and mission; providing not just fitness programs, but effective and reliable fitness programs for every individual with Autism and related disabilities. Being in the industry for a long time helped him understand the situation better. Autism Fitness served as a bridge between the professional fitness and Autism communities (families, educators, and therapists).
Today, with his athletes in the greater New York Area, the Autism Fitness Toolbox, and the Autism Fitness Certified Practitioner program, Eric builds a gateway towards a more optimal, independent future for the ASD community future generations. When not working with his athletes, he is either in the gym, playing outside with friends, or reading.
On the contrary, at the age of 21, Daniel Stein had been diagnosed with a learning disability, mood disorder, and autoimmune disease. After successfully figuring out how to face his challenges, he used exercise to overcome his unique challenges. He felt called upon to help others with disabilities to elevate their lives and empower them. He aimed to help them obtain healthier, happier, and higher functioning lives. Daniel achieved certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Today, Daniel specializes in adaptive and inclusive fitness training and is making a difference in the lives of children, adolescents, and adults all over the world. Moreover, he also offers programs for aspiring trainers and therapists in this field. Through this leverage, he can reach more people and build credibility in training and teaching. There are more people who become aware of the need in this field. Also, this is an opportunity for them to help and earn while doing what they are passionate about.
Both creators and pioneers of Autism Fitness Certification and Special Needs Certification have a long experience in their fields. They also have specializations and scientific-based researches to motivate and help people with disabilities. Through keen observation and thorough investigation, they can give hope and motivation to others. They are also offering programs to train more people to become fitness trainers for people with special needs such as Autism. Although Autism Fitness focuses only on autistic clients, they still provide useful tips and strategies to help them grow. On the other hand, Strong Education focuses on a broader group of people with special needs.
Autism Fitness Certification and Special Needs Certification apply diverse approaches and techniques.
Certify Strong offers different levels of course bundles whichever suits you. The learners will receive exclusive access to engaging video examples and regressions and progression templates. These online materials help to create fun and beneficial group classes. Their courses also show how to integrate behaviour analysis techniques, and group programming to ensure safety and efficiency for participants with special needs.
Certify Strong produces interactive video lessons that demonstrate hands-on techniques needed in managing people with special needs and other disabilities. By utilizing these lessons, the learners can grasp the knowledge and wisdom quickly. Apart from that, their studies are purely done online. They can learn in the comfort of their homes.
On the contrary, Autism Fitness uses a blended learning approach. Their course curriculum is divided into two parts. The first part is composed of lecture material, which the learner will receive through the Learning Management System. These materials will be available for each student so they can review, apply, and practice through video replay. On the second part, they are required to have a practical or hands-on learning application, which will be held in regional locations or host sites around the globe. Through this training, the learners will be equipped in handling people with Autism and will develop a sturdy knowledge of the concepts and strategies to meet the fitness needs of the clients.
Tools and Methods
Because Autism Fitness and Certify Strong provide different lessons, they also have various tools and methods to train and teach their learners. In this section below, we will identify what they offer to their learners.
In Autism Fitness, they provide unique tools and materials to train their people. This way, they can disseminate knowledge and concept quickly. Moreover, the learners can adapt and teach clients with Autism properly.
Pac Profile Assessment
In every class, you need to know what is the initial knowledge of the learners. You can’t begin with a program without having an in-depth comprehension of the students. Through the assessment, you will know where to start. The Profile Assessment allows you to determine where an athlete is. Basically, there are three areas of ability, which are physical, adaptive, and cognitive. Understanding what areas you should focus on to help you in providing appropriate strategies to meet the needs of the clients.
Autism Fitness Concepts And Methods
As a future coach, you need to have a formulated and proven strategy. Autism Fitness will provide a system that came from scientific-based concepts that have been tested. You will learn how to introduce fitness programming and identify what suits your clients.
Exercises With Progressions and Regressions
Upon training, the learners will have access to the entire Autism Fitness video library featuring the real athletes that our Certified Pros work with every day. By watching and applying what you have learned from the video, you can help students with Autism to perform exercises. An exercise is only as good as it is implemented, which is why knowing appropriate progressions and regressions for each of the Autism Fitness 15 is key to successful fitness outcomes.
Real-World Assessment Videos
Ensure to assess and identify the knowledge and needs of your clients. Through these videos available in Autism Fitness, learn how to introduce yourself and the programs to your athletes appropriately. The ideas and concepts are excellent, but without proper knowledge of it, everything will be useless. Make sure to watch and apply PAC Profile Assessment sessions to widen your experience and knowledge of the concept.
Autism Fitness also provides guidelines in designing strategies from physical, adaptive, and cognitive baselines. After the assessment with the PAC Profile, the learners will prepare for the planning stage.
When exercises are put together, it does not create a program. Programming is a holistic approach using arts and sciences. The Autism Fitness Toolbox offers programming templates that are designed around the needs and abilities of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Templates are available for one-on-one and class or group programs.
In Certify Strong, learners will need to face and handle different people with special needs and disabilities. Since they are not only focusing on one disorder, they also have to access training videos and materials to provide proper coaching.
Certify Strong offers a more flexible way of learning. The learners have self-paced online courses, which takes an average of 4-6 hours to complete, with their open book exam. They also have full twelve months of access to the system and updates. Moreover, they are provided with a printable training manual which they can use every time to teach and train clients with disabilities. Additionally, there is also a 40-minute video of a special needs group exercise class. Certify Strong will also send a prestigious Certificate of Completion.
No Expiration of Certificates
Their certification never expires so upon completion of the course, renewal of the certificate is not required. This is one of the advantages of enrolling in Certify Strong’s program. Apart from its National Accreditation, the certificate is for lifetime use.
Receive pro tool templates, such as adapted PAR-Q, medical clearance form, and behaviour questionnaire online. These templates serve as a guide in assessing and planning for your lessons. In addition, they will also provide Beginner and advanced workout templates to use in your group classes and full training for each group station, including Dynamic Warm-Up, Fun, Core, Strength, Endurance & Balance, Cool Down & Flexibility
Both programs provide training materials, tools, equipment, methods, and initial assessment to learn what is the best strategy for the clients. They differ in the duration of online courses and examinations. Autism Fitness requires practical application of learning while Certify Strong proceeds with the online way of taking exams. In the case of Autism Fitness, they will be focusing and specializing in only one disorder, which is Autism Spectrum Disorder. On the other hand, Certify Strong will be managing various people with diverse needs.
The first point of comparison between these two programs is content. The Autism Fitness Certification primarily focuses on training for Autism care. It uses experiential learning and evidence-based research to teach learners the importance of fitness training and physical development of people with Autism.
While Autism Fitness caters only to the spectrum, the Special Needs Certification offers a more holistic program. It is not confined to one disability only since their training is grounded in total inclusivity and transparency. The principles of the CBSE Inclusive Training Model is incorporated into each of the modules. Strong Education program trains individuals with the necessary techniques to handle clients with sensory and neuromuscular disabilities, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, and stroke patients and amputees.
For those looking for a concentration on Autism care, the Autism Fitness Certification may be more suitable. It is the only focus of the program, so they have more trainers and resource persons dealing with Autism alone. However, for individuals aiming to expand their knowledge on a wide array of disabilities, then the Special Needs Certification is the better program.
Use of Equipment
In terms of the equipment used, both certification programs have high-quality and updated fitness equipment. Upon signing up, you are taught how to use this equipment, which is very in-demand in the special care industry.
The Certify Strong training program uses training, communication, and de-escalation to teach participants how to handle disabled clients carefully. While the equipment used by Autism Fitness mainly revolves around the tools used to assist patients in the spectrum.
The Autism Fitness Certification and Special Needs Certification are similar in terms of the target audience. They both aim to train individuals from various fields, regardless of whether they have prior exposure to clients with Autism and other disabilities. From parents, educators, caregivers to qualified medical professionals such as nutritionists, therapists, nurses, and even speech pathologists — each of these programs provide in-depth training for Autism, leading to full certification.
While both programs offer post-certification support, the Special Needs Certification provides an additional benefit. Those who can complete the certificate can decide if they want to be added to Certify Strong’s online directory, a list of trained individuals that can be hired by clients that need special care. This is an opportunity to work as a certified professional and to apply their expertise.
Another critical factor in choosing a program is accessibility. Potential enrollees must have easy access to the training, whether it is online or in-person. The recent pandemic has also influenced the learning preferences of many people. It is safer and more convenient to enroll in a program that has flexibility — a program that Certify Strong offers.
As mentioned earlier, the Special Needs Certification program is purely online and is available 24/7. It is more accessible than the Autism Fitness Certification, where participants need to attend the in-person training held at limited locations.
The program price also affects accessibility. The Autism Fitness Certification has a fixed fee of $549, which covers the entire training and post-certification support. While the Special Needs Certification comes in different bundles, depending on your budget and content preferences. The price starts as low as $199 for beginner and level-1 instructor courses, $299 for Group Fitness Training, and up to $799 for the Master Training bundle.
As a bonus, they also provide interest-free payment plans with personalized customer support. This gives more time for participants to pay for the training without dropping out of the program. Because of this, they have more success stories and testimonies from those who finished the program. The families of the clients also continue to recommend the Special Needs Certification.
Accreditation in the US
Having an accredited certification opens several opportunities for trainers, educators, and medical professionals. Apart from career development, accreditation can build trust and instill confidence in clients and their families. It is essential to have proof that an individual is authorized to handle clients from the spectrum.
With over eight accreditations, the Special Needs Certification is more established and accepted in the country. The Council nationally accredited it for Exceptional Children and Continuing Education Standards. Individuals who can finish the program will obtain a certification that meets nationwide quality standards.
In contrast, the Autism Fitness Certification has four accreditations, and these are not all issued by a national board. It is approved by the Alaskan American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and its national accreditation remains pending. The modules being used in training are only pre-approved by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).
The Special Needs Certification has an advantage over the Autism Fitness Certification in terms of accreditation. It is a nationally recognized certificate that is guaranteed to solidify the learner’s capacity in handling clients with special needs.
Your Partner Of Choice
As seen in the whole article, Autism Fitness Certification and Special Needs Certification have various differences – may it be on their target market, how they conduct their courses, and accreditation. Overall, both certifications are helpful for those who want to be of service to those with special needs. However, one stands out between these two.
If you only want to work with autism, the Autism Fitness Certification might be a better choice. However, if you want to be more inclusive and work with various conditions, you should pick the Special Needs certification. Additionally, the Special Needs Certification has an advantage over the Autism Fitness Certification in terms of accreditation. It is a nationally recognized certificate that is guaranteed to solidify the learner’s capacity in handling clients with special needs. They’ll definitely be your partner of choice in this field.