Yoga as a movement-based intervention is increasingly considered to improve the motor skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is little evidence of the effect of yoga on their motor skills. The current study aims to explore the effect of group yoga program on motor proficiency of children with ASD and feasibility of its inclusion in special schools. Forty-three children with ASD from four special schools were randomized into yoga (n = 23) and control (n = 20) group. A structured yoga program of 45 min for 12 weeks was delivered by trained yoga teachers who also tracked their daily responses. The Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. Second Edition was used to assess both the groups pre- and postintervention. In conclusion, the study highlighted that yoga appears to have a positive impact on the gross motor rather than fine motor proficiency of children with ASD and is feasible to be delivered as group intervention in special schools.
Jaehun Jung, Layne Case, Samuel W. Logan, and Joonkoo Yun
The purposes of this study were (a) to investigate the prevalence of physical educators who report delivering high-quality instructional practices to students with disabilities and (b) to examine the relationships between teachers’ qualifications and the delivery of high-quality instructional practices. A secondary analysis using data from the School Health Policy and Practice Study 2014 data set was employed. The analytic sample included 256 physical educators who taught students with disabilities. Prevalence estimates of physical educators who reported using high-quality instructional practices were calculated. Two separate binary logistic regressions using weighted data were conducted to evaluate the relative contribution of (a) teacher qualifications and (b) educational degrees in accounting for differences in the use of high-quality instructional practices. Less than half of the sample reported using high-quality instructional practices. Considering the increasing prevalence of students with disabilities in general education classrooms, teacher education programs should prioritize providing teacher candidates with coursework that aligns with the expectations of physical educators who teach students with disabilities.
Yeshayahu Hutzler, Riki Tesler, Avinoam Gilad, Kwok Ng, and Sharon Barak
Children and adolescents with disabilities (CAWD) represent 11% of Israeli children and adolescents. The 10 core indicators of the Global Matrix on Para Report Cards of physical activity (PA) of CAWD were used to create the 2022 Israeli Para Report Card. A panel of four experts reviewed resources and synthesized evidence of PA behaviors and policies for CAWD in Israel, converted the data to grades, and charted subcategories of language, sex, and disability across population. Data sources were surveys, reports, and memberships in sport federations and clubs. Among CAWD, levels of participation in daily PA were poor (<20%; Grade F), and participation of CAWD in sports was even lower (<10%; Grade F). A lack of environmental infrastructure may explain the low levels of participation. Females, Arabic speakers, and physiological CAWD need particular attention. Establishing governmental policies and interventions is required to increase overall PA and participation in sports among CAWD.
Diego Augusto Santos Silva and Carolina Fernandes da Silva
Brazil is a country member of the Para Report Card, and Brazilian researchers have frequently published information on physical activity of children and adolescents. The current study aimed to analyze the policies for the promotion of adapted physical activity to Brazilian children and adolescents with disabilities. Official government information on adapted physical activity was analyzed from the official websites. Policies were analyzed based on the Para Report Card benchmarks, and after that we used the principles of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to analyze the information. Adapted physical activity is not the main focus of any of the many policies to promote physical activity for children and adolescents. Based on the Para Report Card initiative, the score for this indicator in Brazil is D. Brazil needs to develop specific policies to promote physical activity adapted to the pediatric population with disabilities.
Salomé Aubert, Charlotte Verdot, Gilles Thöni, and Jérémy Vanhelst
The objectives of this work were (a) to adopt the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Report Card methodology to evaluate the state of physical activity (PA) for French children and adolescents with disabilities (CAWD) and (b) to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) perceived by French PA experts for promoting PA among CAWD. The harmonized Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Report Card development process was used to assign a grade to the 10 common PA indicators. SWOT templates were completed by PA experts and then collapsed in a summary figure. Despite increasing efforts to provide active opportunities to CAWD, concerning low grades were assigned to behavioral indicators. SWOT analysis provided important insights for the promotion of PA in CAWD. This work highlighted the need for the inclusion of CAWD in a comprehensive national PA surveillance system and for more efficient strategies promoting PA specifically targeting CAWD in France.
Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Nicholas Kuzik, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Maeghan E. James, Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter, Daniela Ruttle, Pinder DaSilva, Katerina Disimino, Christine Cameron, Mike Arthur, Keiko Shikako, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung
This report provides an expert appraisal of the Canadian Para Report Card on physical activity (PA) for children and adolescents with disabilities. Thirteen indicators were graded by a panel of researchers, representatives from disability and PA organizations, and parents of children and adolescents with disabilities using benchmarks of the Global Matrix 4.0 and previous Canadian PA Report Cards. Facilitated panel discussions were used to appraise the available evidence based on data gaps, opportunities, and recommendations. The available data sources included four nationally generalizable or representative data sets. Grades were assigned to 8/13 indicators and ranged from B+ to F. Data gaps in measurement and national surveillance systems were identified. Ableism was an issue identified within some of the reporting benchmarks. The absence of PA from existing accessibility legislation in Canada was a policy gap of concern. Recommendations related to research, surveillance, and policy are provided to enhance PA among children and adolescents with disabilities in Canada.
Kwok Ng, Sean Healy, Wesley O’Brien, Lauren Rodriguez, Marie Murphy, and Angela Carlin
For the first time, data on children and adolescents with disabilities in Ireland are reported based on the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Para Report Card methodology. The most recent data from the last 10 years were used in the grading process (A+ to F), and indicators with insufficient data were graded as incomplete. Of the 10 indicators from the Global Matrix Para Report Cards, grades were assigned to Overall Physical Activity (F), Organized Sport (D), Active Transport (D−), Sedentary Behaviors (D−), Family & Peers (C), School (C−), Community & Environment (B−), and Government (B). Irish disability sport organizations were invited to assess the research-led audit and provided commentary around the final grading. The contextual discussion of the grades is presented through the lens of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats with the purpose being to provide direction for the reduction of physical activity disparities among children with disabilities.
Cindy H.P. Sit, Wendy Y.J. Huang, Stephen H.S. Wong, Martin C.S. Wong, Raymond K.W. Sum, and Venus M.H. Li
Background: Following the 2019 Hong Kong Para Report Card, the 2022 Hong Kong Para Report Card aimed to provide an updated and evidence-based assessment for nine indicators related to physical activity in children and adolescents with special educational needs and to assess the results using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Methods: Using a systematic process, the best available data on nine indicators were searched from the past 10 years and were assessed by a research work group. Letter grades were assigned and considered by stakeholders and auditors. Results: Four indicators were assigned a letter grade (overall physical activity: F [mixed device-measured and self-reported data]; sedentary behaviors: D [device-measured data]; active transportation: D−; government strategies & investment: C+). SWOT analysis highlighted opportunities for facilitating children and adolescents with special educational needs to achieve health recommendations. Conclusion: There were deteriorating trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Effective, multilevel, and cross-sector interventions are recommended to promote active behavior in children and adolescents with special educational needs.
P. Asunta, K. Kämppi, K. Ng, A. Saari, and T. Tammelin
Finland’s 2022 Para Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents With Disabilities includes a summary of results and grades for 10 physical activity indicators and highlights how these grades are interpreted by stakeholders. The disability classification was based on the UNICEF/Washington Group on Disability Statistics measure, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD7) measure, or education status. Data between 2017 and 2021 were reviewed by 24 physical activity specialists using benchmarks adapted for data on disabilities from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance. The grades were assigned as follows: Overall Physical Activity, C+; Organized Sport, C; Active Play, D; Active Transportation, B; Family and Peers, C+; School, B; Community and Environment, C−; Government, A−; sedentary behavior and physical fitness were graded as incomplete. Stakeholder focus-group discussions highlighted the need for multidisciplinary cooperation and increasing competence of specialists working with children to promote a physically active lifestyle for all children.