Phisical activity in autistic young patients

Phisical activity in autistic young patients

Gloria Micacchi1, Alessandra Giuliani1, Renato Cerbo2, Germana Sorge3, Marco Valenti3-4

 
1PhD Course in Adapted Physical Activity, Faculty of Motory Sciences, L'Aquila University, Italy
2Abruzzo Region Program for Autism Treatment, L'Aquila, Italy 
3Foundation for Autism Treatment, L'Aquila and Vasto, Italy 
4Dept. Internal Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Motory Sciences, L'Aquila University, Italy 
 
Abstract
Physical activity in autistic young patients: a critical review of literature
 
Ital J Sport Sci 2005: 12: 125-128
Children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) may be at risk for being physically inactive because characteristics of the disability interfere with successful participation in traditional forms of physical activity. Children without disabilities acquire a majority of their physical activity during trasportation (i.e., walking to school), informal play (i.e., unstructured neighborhood play), and formal play (i.e., competitive sports). Children with ASD demonstrate (a) restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities; (b) qualitative impairments in social interaction; and (c) qualitative impairments in communication. These impairments may interfere with a variety of physical activity opportunities. It is expected that children with ASD would be less active than children without ASD after school because prior research has indicated individuals with disabilities have limited opportunities for active leisure time The majority of children with ASD spend after-school leisure time in light physical activity (PA), and few participate in competitive of inclusive community activities. The majority works in segregated programs, including private dance lessons and activity program specially designed for children with disabilities, but these are not sufficiently frequent to promote regular PA. Institutional change is difficult and long-term; there before, physical activity interventions for this group should focus on promoting individual or dual activities that often require fewer societal supports. Efforts should focus on identifying appropriate in-school and leisure-time physical activity options that encourage PA and meet the unique need of youth with ASD.
 
 
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