Michael Fernicola is the Els for Autism Foundation Ernie Els #GameOn Autism (TM) Sports Instructor. Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and exercise science from Palm Beach Atlantic University. He has a teaching certificate in physical education for grades K-12 and more than 7 years of experience educating individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across the lifespan.
Prior to joining the Els for Autism Foundation staff, Michael worked in a New Jersey Public Charter School dedicated to students with ASD as a paraprofessional. This experience solidified Michael’s decision to pursue a career in the field of autism spectrum disorder ASD). Following his degree and experience as a paraprofessional, he went on to become a certified physical education teacher and a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Michael then began working as the primary physical education teacher at The Learning Academy and The Learning Center now located on The Els Center of Excellence campus.
Michael actively trains, supports and implements the Ernie Els #GameON Autism Golf program, participates on the Global Outreach Autism Learning Services (GOALS) transdisciplinary team, coordinates and oversees the Movin’ n Grovin’ Summer Camp program, and is a co-author of the Ernie Els #GameON Autism Fitness curriculum. Michael assists training professionals across the world to learn, pilot and integrate fitness into educational and therapeutic programs for individuals on the spectrum. Michael uses his RBT certification to support behavioral needs of the individuals in which he serves.
Michael strives to give individuals with ASD the opportunity to live a healthy, happy lifestyle by adapting and creating fitness and educational programs that include evidence-based practices for autism.