The hallmark characteristics of a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are deficits in social communicative skills and the use of repetitive and/or stereotyped behaviors. In addition, children with ASD experience known motor-skill delays. The purpose of this study was to examine salient child behaviors of young children with and without ASD in 2 distinctly different play settings: a traditional social-play-based setting and a motor-behavior-based play setting. Child behavior (engagement toward parent, negativity, and attention) and dyad characteristics (connectedness) were examined in 2 distinctly different play settings. Results indicated that children with ASD performed more like their peers without ASD in a social-play-based setting and less like their peers in a motor-behavior-based play setting. Aspects of our results shed light on the critical need to develop creative methods of early intervention that combine efforts in all aspects of child development, including motor-skill development.
Megan MacDonald, Bridget Hatfield, and Erica Twardzik
ZáNean McClain, E. Andrew Pitchford, and E. Kipling Webster
Lauren K. Tristani, Rebecca Bassett-Gunter, and Sunita Tanna
Parents are an important source of support for facilitating physical activity in children and youth with disabilities (CYWD). Approximately 70% of parents report using the Internet to search for information regarding their children’s health. This study examined the theoretical content of physical activity information contained on publicly available Web sites targeting parents of CYWD. Web sites were amassed using Google, a combination of various search terms, and predetermined inclusion criteria. The Web sites were coded and analyzed using the content-analysis approach to the theory of specified persuasive educational communication. Half of the total Web site content targeted knowledge-based information and messages concerning outcome expectancies. Web sites infrequently included messages concerning self-regulation. Furthermore, the majority of the Web sites were accumulated using the generic term disability. This research highlights the gaps between theory and practice, emphasizing the need for better knowledge-translation practices.
Nima Dehghansai, Srdjan Lemez, Nick Wattie, and Joseph Baker
Compared with mainstream sport athletes, relatively little is known regarding the factors affecting the development of athletes with a disability. Sport-specific training programs are essential to athletes’ successful performance; to create appropriate programs and strategies, a clear understanding of the nuances of development of athletes with a disability is important. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize existing research on development in athletes with a disability and examine the key determinants of successful development and sporting performance. After a search of the Web of Science and SPORTDiscus databases, 21 articles were identified that met the inclusion criteria, which were assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool and categorized into 3 groups: training and practice, shortterm interventions, and long-term changes due to training. Among the studies, there was a disproportionate focus on immediate interventions and training programs and less on long-term development. The review reflected a lack of research on sportspecific development of athletes with a disability, which raises concerns regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of current training practices.
Debbie Van Biesen, Jennifer Mactavish, Janne Kerremans, and Yves C. Vanlandewijck
Evidence-based classification systems in Paralympic sport require knowledge of the underlying effect of impairment in a specific sport. This study investigated the relationship between cognition and tactical proficiency in 88 well-trained table tennis players with intellectual disability (ID; 29 women, 59 men, M ± SD IQ 59.9 ± 9.6). Data were collected at 3 competitions sanctioned by the International Federation for Para-Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities (INAS). A generic cognitive test consisting of 8 neuropsychological subtests was used to assess cognitive abilities relevant to sport (reaction time, processing speed, and decision speed; spatial visualization; fluid reasoning; memory; executive functioning; and visual processing). The backward stepwise-regression analysis model revealed that 18% of the variance in tactical proficiency was attributed to spatial visualization and simple reaction time. Applications of these findings resulted in an evidence-based classification system that led to the reinclusion of athletes with ID in Paralympic table tennis and provide the basis for future research in this important area.
Yeshayahu Hutzler, Colin Higgs, and David Legg
Janine Coates and Philip B. Vickerman
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games aimed to deliver a legacy to citizens of the United Kingdom, which included inspiring a generation of young people to participate in sport. This study aimed to understand the legacy of the Paralympic Games for children with disabilities. Eight adolescents (11–16 yr) with physical disabilities were interviewed about their perceptions of the Paralympic Games. Thematic analysis found 3 key themes that further our understanding of the Paralympic legacy. These were Paralympians as role models, changing perceptions of disability, and the motivating nature of the Paralympics. Findings demonstrate that the Games were inspirational for children with disabilities, improving their self-perceptions. This is discussed in relation to previous literature, and core recommendations are made.