Stepping Out. The impact of exercise on young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The overall research project undertaken by the University of Calgary graduate students will examine the effects of exercise on young adults 18-35 years of age with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Areas of investigation include cerebral blood flow changes, as well as sleep behavioral improvements. By doing research such as this, we will justify the use of exercise as a non-invasive means of treating and managing ASD, and additionally, establish exercise protocol templates that can be replicated in other universities and fitness facilities across the country. This initiative will address the enormous need for exercise and community programs for this underserved population. There is a need to further all the positive anecdotal evidence from previous pilot projects and create a database of information on individuals with ASD in an effort to advance the knowledge and improve the current care.

Faculty Supervisor:

Penny Werthner


Hayley Wickenheiser


Goodlife Fitness




Sports and recreation


University of Calgary



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