Challenging Situations When Teaching Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders in General Physical Education

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Iva ObrusnikovaUniversity of Delaware

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Suzanna R. DillonWayne State University

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As the first step of an instrument development, teaching challenges that occur when students with autism spectrum disorders are educated in general physical education were elicited using Goldfried and D’Zurilla’s (1969) behavioral-analytic model. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 43 certified physical educators (29 women and 14 men) using a demographic questionnaire and an elicitation questionnaire. Participants listed 225 teaching challenges, 46% related to cooperative, 31% to competitive, and 24% to individualistic learning situations. Teaching challenges were categorized into nine themes: inattentive and hyperactive behaviors, social impairment, emotional regulation difficulties, difficulties understanding and performing tasks, narrow focus and inflexible adherence to routines and structure, isolation by classmates, negative effects on classmates’ learning, and need for support.

Iva Obrusnikova is with the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware in Newark. Suzanna R. Dillon is with Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI.

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