[new publication] “The Effect of Task Modifications on the Fundamental Motor Skills of Boys on the Autism Spectrum: A Pilot Study”

   

Upcoming Publication

This Monday, my manuscript, “The Effect of Task Modifications on the Fundamental Motor Skills of Boys on the Autism Spectrum: A Pilot Study”—co-authored with Drs. Luke E. Kelly and Martin E. Block—was published online. Please enjoy the read-only version: https://rdcu.be/bsJPi.

This article was a pilot study to my dissertation seeking to build an motor skill intervention based on Dynamic Systems Theory for children on the autism spectrum. Overall, this method was shown to be quite effective in the two participants and was a solid foundation to build an intervention.

Article Abstract

A growing body of research has shown children on the autism spectrum are behind their peers developmentally in regard to their gross motor skill development. Given the increased risk for obesity and other health related co-occurring conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder, building foundational gross motor skills is vitally important so that individuals grow into physically active adults. However, the research on motor skill interventions for children on the autism spectrum is limited. Therefore, a multi-element multiple baseline across behaviors single subject design was employed to test the effectiveness of a motor intervention based on task modifications developed based on Dynamic Systems Theory. Using a purposive sample of two boys, aged 7 and 8 years, on the autism spectrum, task modifications were evaluated to understand the impact on the child’s motor performance and their performance’s persistence across two skills (i.e., horizontal jump and two-hand strike; P1jump-pre = 3; P1strike-pre = 4; P2jump-pre = 2; P2strike-pre = 2). As a result of the task modifications, both boys scores increased according to developed skill criterion and the raw scores of the Test of Gross Motor Development, 3rd Edition (Ulrich 2018; P1jump-post = 6; P1strike-post = 6; P2jump-post = 6; P2strike-post = 8). Once the modifications were faded, both boy’s two-hand strike performance persisted; however, one boy’s horizontal jump performance returned to baseline levels. Yet, for this still there remained a high level of non-overlap (90.5%). This study demonstrates the potential impact that an intervention designed around task modifications can have; however, it also shows that interventions may need to be designed at an individual level and contain the flexibility to adjust to the needs of the child.

FYI

The above PDF is a read-only version of an article published in the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-019-09666-4.

You can also find this article on ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331982089_The_Effect_of_Task_Modifications_on_the_Fundamental_Motor_Skills_of_Boys_on_the_Autism_Spectrum_A_Pilot_Study

[new publication] "Fundamental motor skill interventions for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum: A literature review"

Upcoming Publication

I’m happy to announce that my manuscript, “Fundamental motor skill interventions for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum: A literature review”—co-authored with Dr. Martin E. Block—Was recently released. Please enjoy the pre-print: download article or access a read-only version: https://rdcu.be/blOj9.

This article reviews the past literature regarding motor skill intervention for young autistic individuals and provides details some commonalities and areas that need improvement.

Article Abstract

In addition to the core characteristics of ASD, recent research has demonstrated that children on the autism spectrum develop motor skills differently, often delayed, compared to peers. Motor skill interventions can help improve motor skills, which in turn can increase the likelihood of participating in physical activity (PA) and potential to build social skills. However, research in this area is limited. A search of several prominent databases revealed a total of five empirical studies focused on building gross motor skills for children on the autism spectrum. Although the reviewed studies varied in the delivery and focus of intervention, overall the reviewed studies suggest a positive effect from any intervention for children on the autism spectrum. Further research in this area is necessary to better understand the most effective means of delivering a motor skill intervention.

FYI

The above PDF is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40489-019-00161-2.

[New publication] “Experiences Participating in Community Physical Activity by Families with a Child on the Autism Spectrum: a Phenomenological Inquiry”

Abstract; Objectives: Families with a child on the autism spectrum face challenges to participating in physical activity in the community. Yet, little research has examined these families’ experiences and perspectives on such participation. Methods: This phenomenological study used semistructured interviews to collect data from 13 families with a child on the autism spectrum to understand their experiences as a family attempting to access physical activity opportunities. Results: Families discussed four overall themes related to participating in physical activity in the community: (1) safety outside the home, (2) lack of acceptance, (3) behavior affecting the family participation, (4) and limited opportunity for activity. Conclusions: Evidence suggests that physical activity can provide tremendous opportunities to build better connections within the community and improve quality of life, but the barriers discussed by parents in the present study suggest that families and their children on the autism spectrum might not yet have the same opportunities for access or support.

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