2019 Able, Active, & Adaptive Conference

College Station, TX


“Unless you deal with the sensory stuff, nothing else matters”: Autistic adults experiences with physical activity and recommendations for better inclusion.


Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito, PhD, CAPE (1); A. Josephine Blagrave, Ph.D. (2)


(1) University of North Texas; (2) California State University, Chico


For many years, research including individuals on the autism spectrum has focused heavily on the hallmark characteristics—most often—in infants, toddlers, and children. These children and adolescents have continued to age, yet, little is known about the life experiences of autistic adults. Evidence suggests that children on the autism spectrum engage in greater amounts of physical inactivity and are far more likely to be overweight or obese; behaviors that are like to be carried into adulthood. In order to best accommodate and include the autistic adults, it is vital to understand their experiences in trying to access physical activity. This presentation will share findings from the presenter’s current research focused on the physical activity, health and exercise experiences of autistic adults across their lifespans. This presentation will also share the practical applications of these findings, including the best practice recommendations from autistic adults. Time will be provided for discussion of the implications of these findings and how to include the ASD perspective in your current teaching, training, or therapeutic practice.

download presentation slides