In Affiliation, Coaching, CrossFit, HD Videos

April 03, 2014

Video Article

Brian Costello knows autism. His brother was diagnosed with the developmental disorder at the age of 2.

Today, the owner of CrossFit Long Island runs a class specifically for children and teenagers with autism and other mental disorders.

“The first class, I was nervous … I didn’t have a real solid plan,” Costello recalls.

But things went better than expected.

“They didn’t reject the hard work. … They seemed to embrace it a little,” he says.

The next week, the group of athletes was back and ready to go.

Costello, meanwhile, has been careful with the movements he chooses to teach, selecting those that will be easy for the athletes to learn and perform.

“I think it’s important for them to find success early in the CrossFit movements,” he explains.

Costello adds: “I want ’em to walk out with a smile.”

Video by Mike Koslap.

4min 51sec

HD file size: 90 MB
SD mov file size: 34 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Accessing Athleticism by Anna Woods, published Feb. 6, 2013.

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5 Comments on “CrossFit and Autism: Walking out With a Smile”


wrote …

Absolutely awesome, Brian! As a phys ed teacher I'm always interested in these types of initiatives, it's great to see them in action. Keep up this incredible work!


wrote …

This is pretty cool. Nice work!


wrote …

I am humbled everyday by this community. Great job making a difference!
Cherie Chan


wrote …

One of those kids was rowing at a 1:50 pace!


wrote …

First I'd like to say thank you for seeing and utilizing the potential in applying Crossfit methodology to the special needs community. It takes great patience and a good heart to do what you do.

I myself train some clients with special needs. My introduction to this passion was with a client who has downs syndrome. Long story short, his doctor wanted to know who I was and what I was doing with him because the results he achieved were greater than that of his previous Lipitor medication, diet and exercise routine.

This is a wonderful niche in the community and every city in every country needs a place or two like yours.

Thanks again and all the best in Crossfit and life!

-Jeremy Guarino

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