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Professional Development


Ann Griffin
Adapted Physical Education Consultant




Autism: What is it? General Information


Autism Spectrum Disorders:  General Information Adobe PDF logo

Physical Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Instructional Resources

Physical Education and Autism Adobe PDF logo
This collaborative project was designed as a hands-on reference for teaching students with autism in physical education. The intention of this reference is to provide physical educators and others with a general understanding of autism and the implications and effects it may have on the student's participation in physical education. Each individual is unique. It is up to the physical education teacher to identify and plan appropriate, meaningful activities for each student's success in physical education. For customized interventions based on this project, contact Ann Griffin, GWAEA adapted physical education consultant, (319) 399-6858.


Solutions to Inclusion in Physical Education: Facts about Autism, Helpful Hints, Facilitating Understanding, Social Interactions, and Changing or Stopping Activities
Click on Hot TIP #12 pages 3 -5


Project P.L.A.Y.:  Programmed Leisure Activities for Youth with Autism, Savel and Leme, 1986, resource guide available in pdf format.


Autism:  Equipment Turn-Ons for Adapted Physical Education
DVD of Sample Adapted Physical Education Classes for Elementary and Middle School Students
Booking number 174926 (2004),




Autism Equipment Turn Ons: Interesting Equipment for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Students with ASD have unique interests. They may like black holes, strings, bouncing, or balance activities. The following handout suggests equipment based on these interests.


Awareness videos on Asperger Syndrome

Intricate minds II : understanding elementary school classmates with Asperger syndrome (176094)

Intricate minds III : understanding elementary school classmates who think differently (175636)

Intricate minds : understanding classmates with Asperger syndrome (171650)
Available from GWAEA media collection, Autism Core Team, or Ann Griffin



Tips to Consider When Including a Student with ASD in Art, Music, or Physical Education, by Kim Davis


Physical Education, specially designed if necessary is required for all students with disabilities


Physical education placement is an IEP team decision based on the individual needs of a particular student.  It must be based on student need, not staff availability.  Ideally the physical educator should be a part of the team meeting and development of the individualized education plan. 


How do I determine eligibility for adapted physical education services?


Eligibility Criteria for Adapted Physical Education Services

SHAPE America's Position: students be considered eligible for adapted pe services if their comprehensive score is 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on a norm-referenced test or other tests of physical and motor fitness
Released: 2010


PE Central Adapted FAQ’s


Links to Autism Society of America
Autism Society of America

Autism Society of Iowa

Autism Speaks
University of Iowa Regional Autism Services Program



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Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency’s Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 800-332-8488. Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

ADDRESS: 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
TELEPHONE: 319-399-6700 | 800-332-8488
Fax: 319-399-6457
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