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Sports – Golf, Fitness,Tennis and Yoga Classes

Physical activities are vitally important for children with and without disabilities. They promote healthy lifestyles, but can also benefit individuals with autism in unique ways. In the U.S., the prevalence of overweight among children with ASD increases by 19% with an additional 36% at risk for being overweight. Being overweight can put children at increased risk for numerous health problems including; diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, and even depression. (1)

Keeping our campus’ participants active and healthy, through golf, fitness, tennis, and yoga is our key goal.

(1) Source: Autism Speaks: Sports, Exercise, and the Benefits of Physical Activity for Individuals with Autism

Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Sports Program

Through the Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Programs, we at Els for Autism strive to spread autism awareness within our communities. By educating professionals in the field of sports and recreation how to teach people with autism, Els for Autism is changing the culture of sports and recreation. People with autism are beginning to feel welcomed and included to participate in a recreation activity, go to public places, even take lessons or group classes with their local sports professionals. We believe recreation, specifically sports, can be an effective supplemental therapy for individuals with autism.



Download the Ernie Els #GameOn Autism Sports Manual (large file size)

Download the Ernie Els #GameOn Autism Sports Manual (small file size)




Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf Program

Golf Instruction at The Els Center of ExcellenceThe innovative golf program started in 2013, in collaboration with The First Tee ® and PGA REACH.  Infused with evidence-based practices for teaching golf to people with ASD, Ernie Els #GameON Autism Golf is designed to build self-esteem and confidence in a fun, welcoming and supportive environment; encouraging participants to learn golf skills while practicing specific autism learning concepts including communication, emotional regulation, motor, and social skills.

Participants will learn and practice foundational motor skills through fun athletic games and golf activities while practicing social/communication skills in each class.

Instructor: The First Tee of the Palm Beaches is the service provider

To find out more or to register:
Contact: Kelley Coutts
Phone: 561-320-9512

Golf Instruction at The Els Center of Excellence

Now Available 

Resource Center for Ernie Els #GameON Autism Golf

Ernie Els #GameOn Autism™ Golf manual is now available for instructors, schools, and other autism organizations to integrate into their own curriculum.  Ernie Els #GameON Autism Golf Program is specially designed so that participants learn efficiently and practice effectively to achieve their individual golf successes.

For more information and/or to become an Official Program Provider, contact:
Dr. Marlene Sotelo, Chief Operating Officer
Phone: 561-625-8269


Ernie Els #GameOn Autism Golf Program is funded in part by the Florida Junior Golf Council.


Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Fitness

Ernie Els #GameON Autism Fitness is an innovative, family-supportive, research-based fitness and wellness program for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It incorporates the use of traditional fitness equipment, as well as music, dance, and video games as a means of motivating student participation in fitness activities including cardiovascular, strength training, flexibility, and common recess games. Individuals with ASD often lack opportunities for physical activity due to high levels of intensive therapy involving stagnant activities throughout each day. In addition, many individuals with ASD have high incident deficits in motor planning and coordination leading to an aversion to organized sports activities.  Although these individuals may shy away from physical activity and organized sports, it is imperative to create programs that use evidence-based practices to get them active, moving and practicing social skills. Individual and group classes are available.

We are thankful for the $6,500 grant received from the Autism Services Grants Council to assist in funding this program as part of the Adult Services SALSA cooking class.




A structured tennis learning experience that includes: basic strokes, eye-hand coordination, racket handling; putting strokes together, and components of the game-based process. Games and rally balls included.

Instructor:  Herb Artis






Yoga at The Els Center of Excellence

Special needs Yoga/Fitness enhances stamina, flexibility, energy, and strength in a fun and motivating social environment. Classes include warm-ups, breathing exercises, cardio routines, developmentally appropriate yoga poses, and relaxation techniques while offering a full-body experience of physical fitness and philosophical traditions of yoga.

Instructor: Yael Lawrence, MS, BC-DMT





All Sessions

  • All class are at The Els Center of Excellence, 18370 Limestone Creek Road, Jupiter, FL 33458
  • A minimum of 4 participants are required for groups
  • These programs do not provide aides or personal supports and require participants to engage in a 3:1 ratio.  Those who accompany participants who need additional support will be required to actively participate in each practice session.

For more information and to register for golf, fitness, tennis and/or yoga:
Contact: Kelley Coutts, Recreation Services Coordinator
Phone: 561-320-9512