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Megan MacDonald, Samantha Ross, Laura Lee McIntyre and Amanda Tepfer

Young children with developmental disabilities experience known deficits in salient child behaviors, such as social behaviors, communication, and aspects of daily living, behaviors that generally improve with chronological age. The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating effects of motor skills on relations of age and salient child behaviors in a group of young children with developmental disabilities, thus tapping into the potential influences of motor skills in the development of salient child behaviors. One hundred thirteen young children with developmental disabilities participated in this study. Independent mediation analysis, with gender as a moderator between the mediating and outcome variable, indicated that motor skills meditated relations between age and socialization, communication, and daily living skills in young male children with developmental disabilities, but not female participants. Findings suggest motor skill content needs to be considered in combination with other child behaviors commonly focused on in early intervention.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

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Celina H. Shirazipour, Madelaine Meehan and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

The Invictus Games are a parasport competition for service members and veterans with illnesses and injuries. The 2014 Games were aired by the BBC, for a total of 12 hr of coverage. This study aimed to investigate what messages were conveyed regarding parasport for veterans during the BBC’s Invictus Games broadcast. A content analysis was conducted. Five qualitative themes were identified: sport as rehabilitation, the promotion of ability over disability, the social environment, key outcomes of participation, and the importance of competition. Quantitative results indicated that 2 segment types accounted for the majority of the broadcast: sport coverage (50.57%) and athlete experiences (12.56%). Around half of the coverage focused on participants with a physical disability (51.62%). The findings demonstrate key similarities to and differences from previous explorations of parasport media coverage, with the needs of the event and athlete population potentially influencing the broadcast.

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Ken Pitetti, Ruth Ann Miller and Michael Loovis

Children and adolescents with intellectual disability (ID) exhibit a mixture of cognitive, motor, and psychosocial limitation. Identifying specific inadequacies in motor proficiency in youth with ID would improve therapeutic management to enhance functional capacity and health-related physical activity. The purpose of this study was to initiate descriptive data collection of gross motor skills of youth with ID and compare those skills with competency norms. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2) was used to measure 6 items for balance (BAL), 5 items for upper limb coordination (ULC), and 6 items for bilateral coordination (BLC) of 123 males (ages 8–18) with ID but without Down syndrome. The authors performed 2,840 assessments (10–32 for each item); 944, 985, and 913 for BAL, ULC, and BLC, respectively. Mean scores for all age groups for BAL, ULC, and BLC were consistently below BOT-2 criteria. Overall motor skills of males with ID are below the competence expected for children and adolescents without disabilities.

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Megan MacDonald, Bridget Hatfield and Erica Twardzik

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.

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ZáNean McClain, E. Andrew Pitchford and E. Kipling Webster

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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.

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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.

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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.