#23: Eric Chessen – Autism Fitness

Eric Chessen of Autism Fitnes

This is episode 23 of Evil Sugar Radio. In this episode, we interview Eric Chessen. Eric is a specialist in fitness for people with autism. In this episode we talk to him about getting people with autism moving, the difficulties faced in Autism Fitness, how to encourage progress, dealing with frustration, and getting all coaches on the same page.

Parents and coaches of kids with autism are going to find a lot of good information in this episode.

As always, if you’re enjoying the show, please rate us in iTunes.

Episode 23 Overview

Here’s an overview of what we’ll be talking about in this episode:

  • Tell us about yourself and give us an overview of autism and the difficulties that autistic people and their families face.
  • What are some basic things people need to know about interacting with people with autism?
  • What kind of things do people say that are unnecessary or insensitive? How do we communicate on this topic without being offensive?
  • How do we get people with autism to move?
  • Are individual sports or team sports better for autistic kids who have social difficulties? Does the need to be part of a team make it too stressful, or is it a way of addressing social difficulties in a more understandable fashion than free-for-all situations?
  • How do I get my daughter to pace herself? She is mainstreamed and high functioning, but she has a very all or nothing approach to fitness to the extent that she sometimes pulls muscles.
  • Do you have advice on hand over hand exercises that parents of profoundly autistic kids can do with them would be helpful?
  • How do we get started?
  • How do we know if we’re doing too much, especially for those with difficulties with gross motor skills and low muscle tone?
  • Does encouraging fitness strengthen their motor skills, modality, and communication?
  • Which exercises are safest and most beneficial for children who have these difficulties?
  • How do you deal with frustration from parents, coaches, and children?
  • How do I speak to others about how to best help my child?
  • Is there any supplementation needed for low muscular density?
  • Tell us about your ebooks, PAC Profile, and any other projects you have going on.
  • If you could suggest to the fitness industry positive advice, how can the industry do better?

Show Notes

Eric Chessen’s PAC Profile – This product is aimed primarily at trainers.

Autism Fitness e-book (http://www.autismfitness.com/)

Bike To The Future e-book (http://www.autismfitness.com/autism-fitness-bike-to-the-future-e-book/)


Intro music from Baba Brinkman’s Revenge of the Somatic. Purchase any of Baba’s music at http://bababrinkman.bandcamp.com/

Let us know what you think in the comments


  1. Christina says:

    Great podcast! Thank you! A lot of helpful information for caregivers and practitioners.