Social Learning Through Structured Exercise for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Kian HabibEmail author
  • Tina Montreuil
  • Armando Bertone
Review Paper


Increased participation in structured exercise (SE) routines has positive effects on physiological, cognitive, and social development (SD) for students of all ages and abilities. SE offers unique opportunities for social learning in a non-academic context. SE allows students to practice vital social skills such as observation, imitation, and self-regulation. Unfortunately, SD during SE is often overshadowed by more commonly known physiological benefits. Researchers of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are encouraged by SE findings which offer alternative methods for learning social skills the students struggle to develop. Examining the social impact of increased SE for these students bolsters the value of SE findings beyond physiological effects, illuminating the complex, often overlooked positive relationship between SD and exercise for students with ASD.


Autism spectrum disorders Physical activity Exercise Social development Human development Adolescents Students Special needs 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kian Habib
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tina Montreuil
    • 1
    • 3
  • Armando Bertone
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Educational and Counselling PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Perceptual Neuroscience Laboratory (PNLab) for Autism and DevelopmentMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Medicine, Department of PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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