Transfer and Retention Effects of a Motor Program in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Jin Bo Department of Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA

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Bo Shen Division of Kinesiology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4234-5421
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YanLi Pang School of Physical Education, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, HUB, China

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Mingting Zhang School of Physical Education, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, HUB, China

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Yuan Xiang School of Physical Education, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, HUB, China

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Liangshan Dong School of Physical Education, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, HUB, China

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https://orcid.org/0009-0002-8639-1075
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Yu Song School of Physical Education, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, HUB, China

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Patricia Lasutschinkow Department of Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0258-1534
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Alina Dillahunt Department of Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6389-9725
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Dan Li LinJie Autism Rehabilitation Center, Wuhan, HUB, China

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The current study examined the acquisition, retention, and transfer effects of a motor program. Children with autism spectrum disorder participated in a 9-week program that targeted 13 fundamental motor skills based upon the Test of Gross Motor Development-3. Assessments were conducted before and after the program, as well as at 2-month follow-up. Significant improvements were found on not only the trained fundamental motor skills (acquisition) but also the untrained tasks on balance (transfer). The follow-up tests revealed continuous improvement on the trained locomotor skills (retention), as well as the untrained skills on balance (retention + transfer). These findings highlight the importance of continuous support and long-term participation on motor practices.

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