Eric Chessen: Owner of Autism Fitness

Autism Fitness

Eric Chessen is a man after our own hearts. He created an organization called Autism Fitness that focuses on the physical fitness needs of individuals with autism. It even offers certification classes to people who are interested in specializing in personal training for those with autism. We love this focus and drive because it’s so similar to our own.

We offer personal training courses for people who want to work with all types of special needs, not just people who want to work with individuals with autism. While Autism Fitness focuses primarily on individuals on the spectrum, our sister company, Special Strong, offers personal training and boot camp services to individuals with all types of differing abilities.

Rather than seeing Eric Chessen as the owner and founder of our “competition,” we see him as a man who is striving to make the world a better place for people with special needs, just like us.

About Eric Chessen, M.S.

Eric Chessen wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, even while he was receiving his master in general psychology. He had a background in fitness and experience working with individuals with special needs at a summer camp. Because of his past experience, Eric was asked to develop a fitness program for individuals on the spectrum.

Eric gladly took on the project, doing (as a future master of science would) research into the subject to better gain his footing, so to speak. It was during this research phase that he made a shocking discovery: there were no fitness programs for people with ASD. There was no example to draw from.

Once he learned this, Eric knew his calling was to be an advocate for people with autism and help them live happier, healthier lives. He trained in ADA (Applied Behavior Analysis) to help prepare him for the journey ahead.

Since launching Autism Fitness, Eric has helped his clients see not just physical success but also emotional and intellectual growth. Eric has been enabling “effective, fun and meaningful fitness outcomes” for over 15 years.

About Autism Fitness

Autism Fitness goes beyond being a traditional gym or fitness program; it embodies a robust network aimed at supporting individuals with autism. Established on the belief that fitness should be accessible to everyone, it bases its operation on comprehensive education. This education targets a range of demographics including personal trainers, special education teachers, therapists, and parents.

Autism Fitness significantly focuses on conducting workshops for parents and caregivers who are the primary supporters of those with autism. They design these workshops to provide holistic guidance, addressing physical health as well as mental and emotional aspects. They enable parents and caregivers to understand the unique needs of their loved ones with autism and equip them with practical strategies to promote healthier lifestyle routines.

The Autism Fitness toolbox is another primary aspect of this network. Developers have specially created this comprehensive kit, packed with valuable fitness resources, to instill healthier habits in those with autism. The toolbox includes a variety of adaptable tools and techniques to meet individual needs, thus promoting inclusivity.

Moreover, Autism Fitness meticulously designs certification programs offered to personal trainers. These programs aim to inspire and inform fitness professionals. They aim to empower these professionals to develop and deliver safe, engaging training. This training is specifically catered towards the ASD population. They delve into the physical preferences, cognitive patterns, and behavioral aspects of those with autism to provide tailored fitness regimens.

Autism Fitness Certifications

Similar to our model, Autism Fitness offers a number of certifications for trainers, therapists, parents, and teachers who want to help the individuals they know with autism achieve a healthier lifestyle.

The certification courses are in-person and short-term. After just two days of intensive training, you can leave the training site with an Autism Fitness certification. The locations for the courses are expanding all over the world. Locations include New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Florida, California — even places abroad like Singapore.

Certifications range from $549 to $649.

Flexible Certification Programs

People who prefer learning in a group, seek quick solutions, are willing to travel for certification, and have more financial flexibility would find Autism Fitness certifications perfect. For individuals who need a more flexible certification program, however, Strong Education has just the thing.

Our certifications are designed to educate those who are interested about all types of special needs, both physical and intellectual. You can complete the coursework online over a period of several weeks. Because of this, we’re able to offer more affordable certification courses, at just $449.

Adaptive Workout Programs

Autism Fitness is an excellent resource for parents with autistic children. This is not just because of the educational materials they provide. They also offer the benefit of connecting parents directly with Autism Fitness certified trainers in their local area. Autism Fitness has trainers spread all across the Northern Hemisphere. However, they are particularly concentrated in the New England area of the United States.

Our sister company, Special Strong, offers fitness programs to all individuals who need modified solutions. First pick a location, then be connected with a certified trainer near you (mainly in the North Texas area) who can assist clients in wheelchairs, with limited mobility, with Down Syndrome, with ADHD, and more.

Other Resources for Individuals with Autism

As our sister company is located in North Texas, these are other North Texas organizations we know and love that are helping those on the spectrum grow and succeed.

NonPareil Institute

The NonPareil Institute is a trailblazing nonprofit organization with a unique mission — harnessing the technological talents inherent in individuals with ASD. NonPareil recognizes the affinity many individuals on the spectrum have for technology. To cater to this interest, they provide technical training to adults. This allows them to develop their skills and pursue rewarding careers in the tech industry.

In NonPareil’s innovative classes, students delve into a spectrum of technical disciplines, including HTML, PhotoShop, InDesign, and app development. NonPareil not only nurtures the inherent abilities of its participants but also equips them with practical skills that the evolving landscape of technology highly seeks, by offering a comprehensive curriculum.

Beyond technical skills, NonPareil places a strong emphasis on fostering independence. Through a supportive and inclusive environment, individuals at NonPareil gain not only technical expertise but also the confidence and self-reliance needed to navigate the professional world successfully.


MyPossibilities is a dynamic continuing education program designed specifically for adults with special needs, including those with autism. This program serves as a gateway to both personal and professional development, guiding individuals towards gaining employment upon graduation.

MyPossibilities goes beyond traditional educational models by helping students explore and identify potential career paths. By providing a supportive and enriching environment, the program empowers individuals to discover their strengths, interests, and aspirations, paving the way for a more purposeful and fulfilling future.

The holistic approach of MyPossibilities extends beyond academics to encompass life skills, social integration, and vocational training. This approach ensures that participants not only receive academic enrichment but also gain practical skills necessary for independent living and meaningful engagement within the community.


Hugs Cafe & Howdy Handmade

Hugs Cafe and Howdy Handmade are both restaurants that exclusively employ adults with special needs. Both companies were aware that the special needs population has the highest unemployment rate in the United States. This is a rate that surpasses all other marginalized groups. Determined to amend this problem, they are taking steps to address it, focusing on one individual at a time.

Achievement Center of Texas

Achievement Center of Texas (ACT) is a day habilitation center and day care for people with special needs. Besides the arts and crafts and life skills training that takes place during the school day, ACT also hosts dances and other social events for its students. Every year, ACT directs and puts on a play with an all-student, all-special-needs cast.

For national resources for individuals with autism, we highly recommend the resource guide at Autism Speaks.

Strong Education teaches personal trainers and service providers on how to adapt fitness and nutrition for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online adaptive special needs certification course.

Tell us where to send your FREE guide:



Get a FREE Adaptive Workout & Nutrition Guide

  • Breaks down Adaptive challenges
  • Breaks down things to Try and Avoid based on Adaptive challenges
  • Gamified challenge to help create new habits
Enter your Email to Receive a 10% OFF Coupon and Download a FREE Sample Exam

Floating 10% Coupon Form

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • 10% off coupon for any certification program
  • Preview our multiple choice sample exam
  • Be the first to know about new monthly adaptive courses
Sale Extended! SAVE 25% & Start for $1!
email tick

Thank you for your interest in Special Strong

One of our local special strong trainers will reach out to you shortly.

Please take a look at this video to know more about what to expect in a training class. Also join our Facebook and Instagram community where we highlight stories of our clients overcoming challenges to live an abundant life. We hope to highlight your story soon.

email tick

Thank you for your interest in Special Strong

One of our local special strong trainers will reach out to you shortly.

In your area we provide virtual in home training. Please take a look at this video to know more about what to expect in a training class. Also join our Facebook and Instagram community where we highlight stories of our clients overcoming challenges to live an abundant life. We hope to highlight your story soon.

Thank you for your submission. Check inbox for coupon code.