The effect of an exercise program on communication and behavior of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

K. Stavrou, V. Tsimaras, A. Alevriadou, A. Gregoriadis
2018 Pedagogics, Psychology, Medical-Biological Problems of Physical Training and Sports  
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of exercise in the communication skills and behavior of a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Material: The survey involved a 7 years old boy attending a mainstream school who was diagnosed at 2.5 years of age with pervasive developmental disorder and at 3.5 years of age with ADS. The annual re-assessment, at the age of 6 defined him as a child with high functional autism. The study consisted of three phases. In the interview
more » ... s. In the interview process through a questionnaire, data concerning the overall picture of the boy was collected. The same questionnaire was answered by all participants (parents, general class teacher, parallel support teacher and physical education teacher) two days prior and two days after the implementation of the intervention program, so as to record observations. The questionnaire investigated four areas, that is, intention or function of communication, semantic categories and use of words, context (framework) communication and ways (means) of communication. The intervention program lasted 12 weeks, at a frequency of 3 sessions per week, of 40-45 minutes each session including balance activities, self-awareness exercises, group games (3-4 people), visual -motor coordination activities, lateral movement and time and space orientation games. Results: After the implementation of the intervention program, the child showed significant improvement in all domains and in almost all subcategories. Conclusions: An individually structured exercise program results in a significant improvement in behavior, skills and communication for a child with ASD.
doi:10.15561/18189172.2018.0206 fatcat:njk22v2ecrehjjucechnlhvifa