The purpose of this study was to examine the effects that aerobic exercise activities can have on various stereotypical behaviors found in children on the autism spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong, developmental disability that can impact how an individual communicates, behaves, as well as moves. Physical activity has long been implemented in the treatment plans of children with diagnoses along the autism spectrum; However, specific data relating to the impact of aerobic activity is quite scattered. Aerobic activities require the body to be able to take oxygen from the air around it and circulate it through the blood as a form of energy production and can include exercises of low to high intensity. This strain on the cardiovascular system then stimulates behaviors for a child with ASD. By using systematic literature review methodology this study discusses the benefits that aerobic activities, in particular, can have on the many stereotypical behaviors found in children on the autism spectrum including, irregular sleep patterns, shortened attention spans, repetitive movements, as well as overall wellness and the health improvements that arise as a result of this physical activity. Results from this review indicate that there is a positive correlation between increased aerobic activities and a decline in stereotypical behavior in children on the autism spectrum, however, the long-term effects of this practice are not discussed in this literature review.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Valdes, Anna


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Health Professions and Sciences



Degree Program

Sport and Exercise Science



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date