The benefits of exercise programmes for pre-school children with autism spectrum disorders

2021 Research Outreach  
utism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people. It can also affect the way people interact with the world around them. According to the latest statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of ASD has increased to 1 in 54 children. Autism is a spectrum condition meaning that whilst all people with ASD share some similarities, everyone is affected differently. The
more » ... terms ASD and autism are often used interchangeably. EXERCISE AND WHITE MATTER As well as keeping people fit and healthy, being part of a sports team or taking part in any physical activity can increase self-esteem, develop social skills, and improve mental health and wellbeing. Whilst sport is something that can be daunting to children with ASD due to the sensory overload and the need for social communication, with the correct support it is something that can make a huge difference to a child's life. Studies have previously shown that physical activity programmes can improve social communication outcomes in children with autism. This includes improvements in social awareness and cognition, and emotional regulation. It is unclear, however, whether the type of sport makes a difference. Researchers have noticed that team sports with an individual component, such as baseball or basketball, are good options for children with ASD.
doi:10.32907/ro-124-1540236871 fatcat:ynid44jv5rd4nboxbp4yitkmwm