Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Larson, Susan

Second Reader

Micheal Mignard;


Adolescents with autism live a more sedentary lifestyle than those without an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Lack of exercise results in increased health risks, obesity, and decreased quality of life, exercise, motor skills, and peer interaction. Exercise can serve as a treatment for those with autism that increases quality of life, improves peer relationships, overall health, and increases expected behaviors. Special education providers should receive training about the benefits of physical activity along with strategies to best incorporate physical activity into daily routines, instruction, and goals. Due to lack of systemic resources and social opportunities, researchers cite many benefits to incorporating physical activity in the school setting as part of academic programming, including reduced parental stress, improved behavior and improved social skills and mental health. In addition, newly designed educational experiences improve the overall quality of life for students and their families.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis