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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New Resource Offers Physical Education Teachers Help
In Serving Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
RESTON, VA, October 10, 2012 — Physical educators across the United States now have help working with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), thanks to a new book from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). Meeting the Physical Education Needs of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (NASPE, 2012), written by Melissa G.F. Alexander, Ph.D.,assistant professor in Montclair State University's Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education, and Susan M. Schwager, Ed.D.,former professor in the same department, dispels common myths about autism and offers physical education teachers practical strategies and activities for working with students with ASD in both inclusive and self-contained class settings.
"Meeting the physical education needs of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be challenging, frustrating and heartbreaking, all rolled into one," said Cheryl Richardson, NASPE's senior director of programs and services and a former physical education teacher. "NASPE is proud to offer physical education teachers around the country a resource that will help them involve students with ASD in physical education activities and to set ambitious physical activity goals for them."
Complete with downloadable tools for use in physical education classes, Meeting the Physical Education Needs of Children With ASD offers teachers:
"While the strategies provided are supported by theoretical models and research, it was important to us that they could be realistically implemented in a physical education setting," says Alexander. "One of our goals for this project was to make sure that the strategies could be implemented immediately without requiring teachers to make major changes to their existing lessons."
Schwager added, "The purpose of the strategies we provide in this book is to help teachers meet the learning needs of all students, in particular, those students with ASD. These strategies go beyond keeping the student occupied on the sideline and are intended to actively engage the student with ASD in the learning goals of the actives being taught. These strategies are applicable to students in all grade levels and with a range of abilities."
To order Meeting the Physical Education Needs of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder ($39 retail, $27 for AAHPERD members), call 1-800-321-0789 or order online. Stock No. 304-10515. ISBN: 978-0-88314-965-2; includes a CD-ROM full of downloadable tools for the classroom.
About the Authors
Melissa G.F. Alexander is an assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She completed her Ph.D. in Kinesiology at Michigan State University, with an expertise in Adapted Physical Activity. Her primary teaching responsibilities at Montclair State University include adapted physical education for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as assessment strategies for physical education teachers. She also is the program coordinator for students pursuing a Master of Arts degree in teaching (MAT in physical education). Dr. Alexander's research interests include exploring appropriate pedagogical strategies to implement for children with ASD in the physical education setting, as well as integrating social skills development into physical education and sport. Her research has been presented and published within regional, national and international venues.
Society of Health and Physical Educators