Lower levels of physical activity (PA) are often observed among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to children without ASD; however, some studies have demonstrated few to no PA differences between the two groups. The purpose of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to compare the differences in PA between children (2–18 years) with and without ASD. An exhaustive search of five online databases was completed, and 31 studies met the inclusion criteria. A pooled random-effects Hedges’s g model was used to determine differences in PA between children with and without ASD. Children with ASD were found to be significantly less physically active than children without ASD (Δ = −0.62, p < .001). Subgroup analyses revealed significant moderate to large differences in PA by intensity level, age, setting, and measurement methods. Future studies are needed to further explore the underlying mechanisms associated with lower levels of PA among children with ASD.
John P. Rech, J. Megan Irwin, Adam B. Rosen, Jessica Baldwin, and Michaela Schenkelberg
Laura A. Prieto, Benazir Meera, Heather Katz, and Luis Columna
The Test of Gross Motor Development-3 is one of the most popular assessment tools in physical education and physical activity settings. It is a valid assessment originally designed to administer in-person, but the virtual administration of the assessment has yet to be deemed feasible. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the trial feasibility of virtual data collection using the Test of Gross Motor Development-3 to assess the fundamental motor skills of children with autism spectrum disorder. Most specifically, we report on the design and feasibility of the online assessment process. A total of 22 families of children with autism spectrum disorder participated in the online data collection.
Frazer Atkinson, Jeffrey J. Martin, and E. Whitney G. Moore
Two forms of perfectionism were examined in the present study to see whether they predicted prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport through moral disengagement and altruism in a sample of 327 wheelchair basketball and rugby athletes (M = 33.57 years, SD = 10.51; 83% male). Using structural equation modeling, the following significant direct and indirect effects were found. First, perfectionistic strivings positively predicted perceived prosocial behaviors and altruism. Second, perfectionistic concerns negatively predicted altruism and prosocial behaviors and positively predicted moral disengagement. Third, antisocial behaviors were positively predicted by moral disengagement and altruism. Furthermore, perfectionistic concerns indirectly predicted antisocial behaviors positively through moral disengagement and negatively through altruism. Finally, perfectionistic strivings positively predicted antisocial behaviors through altruism. Results provided partial support for the role of perfectionism in predicting prosocial and antisocial behaviors through moral disengagement among athletes with a disability.
Katherine Holland, Justin A. Haegele, Xihe Zhu, and Jonna Bobzien
This study explored the experiences of students with orthopedic impairments in integrated physical education (PE) classes. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and six students with orthopedic impairments (age = 10–14 years) served as participants. Data sources were semistructured, audiotaped interviews and reflective interview notes. Based on data analysis, three themes were developed—“Without it, they probably would like, just treat me normal,” visibility, disclosure, and expectations; “I sit out,” limited participation and a lack of modifications/accommodations; and “PE doesn’t feel great,” social interactions and perception of self. The experiences portrayed throughout these themes highlight the marginalization and lack of access that the participants encountered in their integrated PE classes. The findings indicated that PE professionals working with students with orthopedic impairments may benefit from reflecting on personal biases and their instructional practices in an effort to improve the quality of PE experiences for these students.
Jônatas Augusto Cursiol, Tarine Botta de Arruda, Fábio Yuzo Nakamura, and Ricardo Augusto Barbieri
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of three simulated goalball games on neuromuscular, physiological, perceptual, and technical parameters. Ten male players underwent assessments before and immediately after each game. Heart rate was recorded at rest and during all games that were entirely filmed for further technical performance analysis. Exercise significantly decreased knee extensor muscles peak force and percentage of voluntary activation after the second and third games, indicating the presence of central fatigue. Heart rate responses remained predominantly in a range equivalent to moderate activity intensity in all games. In addition, perceptual parameters were associated with reduced frequency of throws and density of actions. These findings suggest significant implications for the management of physical training, game strategy during a competition, and fixture change from three to two games per day.
Fitness centers may be an ideal setting for physical activity, yet qualitative findings suggest social-level barriers constrain access for people with disabilities. To further test this, I employed an online message correspondence study to investigate the effect of impairment status on the responsiveness of a national sample of fitness centers to requests for services. Email requests were sent to 800 fitness centers, of which 200 were tailored to each of the four investigative conditions (i.e., control, vision loss, spinal cord injury, or being autistic). The odds of receiving a positive response were 40.5% lower for individuals with vision loss (p = .011) and 33.3% lower for individuals with spinal cord injury (p = .055), as compared with individuals without an impairment. Specifically, the odds of receiving a positive response for personal training were 58.8% lower among individuals with vision loss (p = .003) and 41.1% lower for individuals with spinal cord injury (p = .065).
Lindsay Eales and Donna L. Goodwin
Trauma is pervasive, embodied, and can be perpetrated or perpetuated by researchers, educators, and practitioners, including those within adaptive physical activity (APA). In this article, we highlight the need to address trauma within APA as a matter of access and justice. We share various conceptualizations of trauma from psychiatric, embodied, anti-pathologizing, and sociopolitical perspectives. Trauma-informed practice is introduced as a framework for creating safer, more inclusive programs and services, so we can recognize the impacts of trauma and affirm those who experience it. As the first step to a multistep trauma-informed process, our aim is to raise awareness of trauma and introduce resources for enacting trauma-informed practice. We also pose difficult questions about how we, as “helping” practitioners, researchers, and educators may be perpetuating or perpetrating harm and trauma, in particular sanism, within our profession. Ultimately, we invite readers to join us in reflection and action toward anti-pathologizing trauma-informed APA.
Viviene A. Temple
The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide crisis. It has been, and is, an extreme challenge for our health care and prevention systems, and for society as a whole. Among many facets of life, physical activity and sport has been heavily impacted. The aim of this viewpoint article is to highlight the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with an intellectual disability, with a particular focus on physical activity and Special Olympics. Specific objectives are (a) to share what the literature reveals about the impact of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of individuals with an intellectual disability, (b) to examine what is known about the impact of the pandemic on physical activity of individuals with an intellectual disability, (c) to describe Special Olympics program responses during the pandemic, and (d) to recommend areas for future research.