A Guided Physical Activity Intervention for Fundamental Motor Skill Improvement in Children with Autism

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Motor skill teaching interventions with a skill education component effectively improve fundamental motor skills (FMS) in children with Autism (ASD). However, few studies have considered if self-directed physical activity with a guide is sufficient to enhance FMS in this population.


This study explored whether a guided physical activity improves FMS in children with ASD and examined if benefits for ASD children were greater than for typically developing children.


Children with ASD (n = 4) and typically developing (n = 7) children were recruited to participate in a 10-week guided physical activity intervention. The intervention consisted of four 12-minute activity stations structured according to the North Carolina Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communications-Handicapped Children. Children engaged in self-directed play at each station, and guides provided support when requested.


Preliminary findings support that guided physical activity has the potential to enhance running (t = 2.6, p = 0.08) and kicking (t = 2.36, p = 0.07) in children with ASD. However, FMS gains in ASD children did not exceed gains made by typically developing children.


The effect of guided physical activity for children with ASD should be explored in larger studies as this type of intervention may be feasible to deploy in multiple settings. Highlights. Guided physical activity may be a feasible and effective means of supporting FMS development in children with ASD.

Annals of Applied Sport Science, Volume:11 Issue: 3, Autumn 2023
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