The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and potential efficacy of a WhatsApp-based physical activity for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Fourteen parents and their children with ASD participated in the study. The intervention included parents conducting physical activities with their children with ASD for 4 weeks. Physical activity contents were provided to parents via the WhatsApp group. The data were collected through the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire and a feasibility questionnaire adapted from previous studies examining the feasibility of web-based physical activities. Parents reported that WhatsApp-based physical activities were a feasible intervention to increase the physical activity level of their children with ASD and stated that the contents of the physical activity shared in the WhatsApp group were useful. The findings provided preliminary evidence for the use of WhatsApp-based physical activities to increase the physical activity level of children with ASD who stay at home due to the pandemic.
ZáNean McClain, Jill Pawlowski, and Daniel W. Tindall
Samantha M. Ross, Kathleen McCarty, Bridgette M. Schram, and Layne Case
Kyle Pushkarenko, Janice Causgrove Dunn, and Donna L. Goodwin
Countering the declining physical activity patterns of children labeled with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has gained considerable research attention given its impact on health and quality of life. The purpose of this study was to explore how parents of children labeled with ASD understand the concept of physical literacy, based on their children’s participation in community-based physical activity programs. Using interpretive phenomenological analysis, six mothers of children labeled with ASD participated in one-on-one semistructured interviews. The conceptual framework of ecological systems theory supported the rationale for the study purpose, provided structure for the interview guide, and offered a reflexive context for interpretation. Four themes were generated from the thematic analysis: From embodied movement to normative skill expectations, Be flexible, not rigid, Systematic exclusion, and Valuable? . . . Absolutely! Despite experiences of marginalization, exclusion, and trauma within physical activity programs, mothers valued physical literacy development for their children given the positive outcomes of increasing family connections, engagement with peers, and enhanced wellness.
Amanda Young, Seán Healy, Lisa Silliman-French, and Ali Brian
To inform the development of scalable and sustainable fundamental motor skill interventions for children with Down syndrome, this study examined the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of Project Skill Intervention Implemented by Parents (Project SKIP), a web-based, parent-mediated intervention intended to improve ball skills among children with Down syndrome. Twenty-four families enrolled in the study (including 13 boys and 11 girls; M age = 4.92). Fourteen children were assigned to an experimental group and participated in the 6-week intervention, and 10 children served as the inactive comparison group. The Test of Gross Motor Development-3 was administered preintervention and postintervention. In addition, parents of children in the experimental group completed a postintervention survey to assess their perceptions of Project SKIP. Following the intervention, there was a significant improvement in ball skills (p = .023, d = 0.86) for children in the experimental group, whereas the comparison group did not show significant improvement. Moreover, parents perceived Project SKIP to be feasible and effective; all parents reported being satisfied with their overall experience in the program, and 11 parents indicated that their child’s fundamental motor skills were positively influenced by the intervention. Engagement was high, with the majority of parents (n = 8, 57%) interacting with Project SKIP content three to four times a week.
Iva Obrusnikova, Albert R. Cavalier, Richard R. Suminski, Ashleigh E. Blair, Cora J. Firkin, and Ashley M. Steinbrecher
Adults with an intellectual disability have significantly lower levels of fitness compared with the general population. This study examined the effects of a 13-week theoretically guided, community-based, multicomponent resistance training intervention, resistance training for empowerment, on muscular strength and independent functional performance in 24 adults with an intellectual disability, aged 18–44 years. Twelve participants were randomly allocated to an experimental group and 12 to an active control group. An analysis of covariance revealed that the experimental group had significantly greater increases (p < .05) on the chest press and leg press one-repetition maximum tests and the 6-min walk test from the baseline to postintervention compared with the control group. The experimental group correctly and independently performed a significantly greater number of steps of resistance training exercise tasks than the control group. Marginal significance and large effect sizes were found for the prone plank test and the stair climb test. The resistance training for empowerment was effective in promoting muscular strength and independent functional performance among adults with an intellectual disability.
Yetsa A. Tuakli-Wosornu, Xiang Li, Kimberly E. Ona Ayala, Yinfei Wu, Michael Amick, and David B. Frumberg
It is known that high-performance sprinters with unilateral and bilateral prosthetic lower limbs run at different speeds using different spatiotemporal strategies. Historically, these athletes still competed together in the same races, but 2018 classification rule revisions saw the separation of these two groups. This study sought to compare Paralympic sprint performance between all-comer (i.e., transfemoral and transtibial) unilateral and bilateral amputee sprinters using a large athlete sample. A retrospective analysis of race speed among Paralympic sprinters between 1996 and 2016 was conducted. In total, 584 published race results from 161 sprinters revealed that unilateral and bilateral lower-extremity amputee sprinters had significantly different race speeds in all three race finals (100 m, p value <.001; 200 m, <.001; 400 m, <.001). All-comer bilateral amputee runners ran faster than their unilateral counterparts; performance differences increased with race distance. These data support current classification criteria in amputee sprinting, which may create more equal competitive fields in the future.
Karlee Naumann, Jocelyn Kernot, Gaynor Parfitt, Bethany Gower, and Kade Davison
The purpose of this study was to produce a descriptive overview of the types of water-based interventions for people with neurological disability, autism, and intellectual disability and to determine how outcomes have been evaluated. Literature was searched through MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid Emcare, SPORTDiscus, Google Scholar, and Google. One hundred fifty-three papers met the inclusion criteria, 115 hydrotherapy, 62 swimming, 18 SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus), and 18 other water-based interventions. Common conditions included cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, and intellectual disability. Fifty-four papers explored physical outcomes, 36 psychosocial outcomes, and 24 both physical and psychosocial outcomes, with 180 different outcome measures reported. Overall, there is a lack of high-quality evidence for all intervention types. This review provides a broad picture of water-based interventions and associated research. Future research, guided by this scoping review, will allow a greater understanding of the potential benefits for people with neurological disability, autism, and intellectual disability.
Whitney N. Neal, Emma Richardson, and Robert W. Motl
The uptake and benefits of the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults with Multiple Sclerosis (PAGs) have been validated, but there is limited understanding regarding the knowledge, needs, and preferences of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) for implementing the PAGs outside of clinical research. The authors conducted online, semistructured interviews with 40 persons with MS from across the United States seeking information on awareness of and potential approaches for increasing the uptake of the PAGs. They identified first impressions and potential approaches for increasing the uptake of the PAGs through inductive, semantic thematic analysis. Participants perceived the PAGs as a good introduction for structured exercise but desired more information on how to meet the PAGs. Participants further believed that modifying the PAGs for inclusivity and applying a multifaceted approach for dissemination and implementation may increase uptake of exercise behavior. Physical activity research in MS should include both analyzing the effects of exercise and the unique challenges faced by persons with MS in putting the PAGs into practice.
The goal of this study was to determine if emotional expressions at the end of swimmers’ 2016 Paralympic races varied according to medal won and if their race wins and losses were close or not close. Using FaceReader software, videos of 46 races of medal-winning Paralympic (M age = 24.6; SD = 5.4) swimmers’ faces (78 males and 60 females) from 22 countries were analyzed. Silver medalists were angrier and sadder than gold medalists and angrier and more disgusted than bronze medalists. Swimmers who swam slower than their 2015 best time were angrier than Paralympians who swam faster. Paralympians who finished lower than their 2015 world ranking had more neutral emotions and were less happy than Paralympians who finished higher. Gold medalists who narrowly defeated silver medalists were less happy and more fearful than gold medalists who won easily. Bronze medalists with close wins had fewer neutral emotions and were happier, less angry, and more surprised than bronze medalists with not-close wins. All medalists with close wins were more surprised than medalists with easier wins. Bronze medalists with close losses to silver medalists were happier and less angry than bronze medalists who lost more easily. Effect sizes ranged from d = 0.27 to 1.01. These results provide theoretical support to basic emotion theory and confirm the anecdotal observations that Paralympic competition generates wide-ranging and diverse emotions.