Recruiting for New Study: “Physical Activity Experiences of Autistic Adults”

Starting now, a colleague from the California State University, Chico and I are recruiting for a study investigating how autistic adults have experienced with physical activity and exercise. In this study, we will be interviewing adults about how they view physical activity, the role physical activity has played in their life, and what they feel are the greatest barriers and/or facilitators of their activity. 

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If you have been diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum or aspergers as any point in your life, you are 18 years or older, and you would like to take part in the study, please feel free to reach out to either myself or my colleague (our contact information is on the image above). You do not have to be in Texas or California to take part in this study—we can talk over the phone or by video call. 

 

Study information will be continually updated; so check back.

Update: "Try to do the best you can"

Another article is up and available. This article has been published in the International Journal of Special Education. It is free, open source, and available to everyone. So feel free to download and share from here.  It is in issue 30, no. 3. 

FYI: The formatting was off last I checked; I made the editor aware of it and it should be fixed shortly.

This study was an small, qualitative study of pre-service APE teachers perceptions of working on motor skills with children with ASD. I found four general areas that teacher addressed concerns in.  

Overall, the issues are what are to be expected when teaching and most likely affect individuals outside of APE. However, it is the lack of training and preparation that leave these teachers unsure when they take their first position. The difference between the confidence levels at the beginning and end of their training was night and day. This necessitates having solid practicum experiences for individuals going out into the classroom, especially for those who will work with children with ASD. 

Feel free to comment below with any questions.

UPDATE: “Try to do the best you can”: How pre-service APE specialists experience teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Recently, I (re)finished a manuscript I started last year after a qualitative study looking at the factors that influence pre-service APE specialists when working with children with ASD. The study involved lots of interviews and observations of the students in the schools. Below is the updated abstract: 

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) present an exceptional need for varied instruction with the physical education environment. Adapted physical educators need to be prepared to make a significant amount of choices in regards to adaptations and modifications given the situations they may encounter with their students. However, many pre-service adapted physical education (APE) specialists may be unprepared to address the unique challenges faced when teaching children with ASD. This study involved interviews and observations of four pre-service APE specialists who were working one-on-one with a child with ASD during a practicum. In this analysis four factors, 1) physical environment, 2) instructional strategies, 3) behavioral issues, and 4) personal discernment, surfaced as major influences in the decision making of the pre-service teacher. This analysis looks to build a foundational understanding of how this relationship exists in the APE setting with children with ASD. This study reveals that pre-service teacher have limited knowledge which leads to an inability to make important instructional decisions and overcome barriers that arise with children with ASD. Teacher-training programs should address these concerns in order to build confident and successful teachers. 

The article's title comes from a quote one of the participants said and I thought it summed up a lot of what the teachers were trying to do when working with their students. 

Currently, this article is under review at the International Journal for Special Education.