Despite the rising interest in intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder, the extent to which interventions are effective on gross motor outcomes is currently unknown. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of different intervention approaches on gross motor outcomes among children with autism spectrum disorder using meta-analysis. A total of 18 studies met the inclusion criteria for quantitative analysis. Pre- and posttest means and SDs were extracted to calculate effect sizes. Potential moderator variables were chosen based on important intervention characteristics. The results suggest that interventions have a large effect on gross motor outcomes among children with autism spectrum disorder (δ = 0.99, SE = 0.19, p < .001, 95% confidence interval [0.62, 1.36]). The interventions that were 16 total hours or longer had a significantly larger effect than those less than 16 hr. In addition, the interventions in experimental settings had significantly larger effects than the interventions in practical settings. Future interventions should consider intensity, including not only the duration of the intervention but also the intensity in which specific intervention goals are targeted.
Iva Obrusnikova, Haley M. Novak and Albert R. Cavalier
Adults with intellectual disability have significantly lower musculoskeletal fitness than their peers without a disability. Appropriate instructional strategies are needed to facilitate their acquisition and maintenance of musculoskeletal fitness. In this multiple-baseline across-participants single-subject study, the authors evaluated the effects of a multicomponent package that included a video-enhanced system of least-to-most prompts on the acquisition of 5 muscle-strengthening exercises in 3 women with mild intellectual disability, age 24–37 yr. Results show substantive gains in correct and independent performance of steps in the 5 exercises during the treatment condition. The improved performance was maintained 2 wk after the last treatment session and in a large YMCA gym. The study suggests that use of the video-enhanced system of least-to-most prompts can lead to improved acquisition and maintenance of muscle-strengthening exercises by adults with mild intellectual disability.
Leah S. Goudy, Brandon Rhett Rigby, Lisa Silliman-French and Kevin A. Becker
The purpose of this study was to determine changes in balance, postural sway, and quality of life after 6 wk of simulated horseback riding in adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Eight older adults completed two 60-min riding sessions weekly for 6 wk. Variables of balance, postural sway, and quality of life were measured 6 wks before and within 1 wk before and after the intervention. Berg Balance Scale scores decreased from baseline to preintervention (48.36 ± 5.97 vs. 45.86 ± 6.42, p = .050) and increased from preintervention to postintervention (45.86 ± 6.42 vs. 50.00 ± 4.38, p = .002). Cognitive impairment, a dimension of quality of life, improved from baseline to postintervention (37.5 ± 20.5 vs. 21.5 ± 14.4, p = .007). Six weeks of simulated horseback riding may improve balance and cognitive impairment in older adults with Parkinson’s disease.
Xihe Zhu and Justin A. Haegele
The purpose of this study was to examine reactivity to accelerometer measurement in children with visual impairments (VI), their sighted siblings, and their parents. A sample of 66 participants (including 22 children with VI, 22 siblings, and 22 parents) completed a demographic survey and wore triaxial accelerometers for at least 4 consecutive days for 8 hr. An analysis of covariances with repeated measures was conducted, controlling for participant gender. Children with VI had 8.1% less moderate to vigorous physical activity time on Day 1 than Days 2–4 average. Their sighted siblings and parents had 7.8% and 7.1% more moderate to vigorous physical activity time on Day 1 than their Days 2–4 average, respectively. The reactivity percentage for parents and children without VI is consistent with existing literature. However, an inverse reactivity for children with VI was found, which is a unique contribution to the literature and will have implications for researchers using accelerometers for this population.
Wesley J. Wilson and K. Andrew R. Richards
Occupational socialization theory has been used to understand the recruitment, education, and socialization of physical education teachers for nearly 40 yr. It has, however, only recently been applied to the study of adapted physical education teachers. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to understand the socialization of preservice teachers in an adapted physical education teacher education graduate-level program. Participants included 17 purposefully selected preservice teachers (5 male and 12 female) enrolled in a yearlong graduate-level adapted physical education teacher education program. Qualitative data were collected using interviews, reflective journaling, and field notes taken during teaching and coursework observations. Data analysis resulted in the construction of 3 themes: overcoming contextual challenges to meet learners’ needs, the importance of field-based teacher education, and coping with the challenges of marginalization. The discussion connects to and advances occupational socialization theory in adapted physical education and suggests that professional socialization may have a more profound influence on preservice adapted physical education teachers than on their physical education counterparts.
Soubhagyalaxmi Mohanty, Balaram Pradhan and Alex Hankey
Physical activities provide fundamental benefits to children’s health and well-being. They are vital for development and healthy life, but participation of children with visual impairment is limited. Herein, the authors report results of a 16-wk yoga program, evaluating its effects on physical fitness in children with visual impairment. Eighty-three children age 9–16 years (12.37 ± 2.19) participated in a 2-arm, single-blind wait-list-controlled study at a residential school in south India. Participants (yoga group 41, controls 42) were assessed on muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, and respiratory health. Significant improvements in physical fitness were observed after the yoga intervention (Group × Time interactions for right-hand grip strength, p < .001; sit-up, p < .001; sit and reach, p < .001; bilateral plate tapping, p < .001; and peak expiratory flow rate, p < .001). Left-hand grip strength showed main effects of time, although there were no Group × Time interactions. Results demonstrate yoga’s ability to improve a wide range of physical variables in children with visual impairment.
Kirsti Van Dornick and Nancy L.I. Spencer
The purpose of this study was to examine the classification experiences (perspectives and reflections) of paraswimmers. Classification provides a structure for parasport, with the goal of reducing the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition. Guided by interpretive description, nine paraswimmers ranging in swimming experience and sport class were interviewed. Reflective notes were also collected. Transcribed interviews were analyzed inductively, followed by a deductive analysis using Nordenfelt’s dignity framework. Three themes represent the findings: access, diversity, and (un)certainty. Despite several positive experiences, paraswimmers also discussed inconsistencies in the process leading them to question competition fairness and classification accuracy. These findings suggest that continued efforts to improve the classification system are required. In addition, paraswimmers and their allies (e.g., coaches) require more information about the classification process to better understand the outcomes and to effectively advocate for their needs.
ZáNean McClain, E. Andrew Pitchford and Jill Pawlowski
Rafael L. Kons, Kai Krabben, David L. Mann, Gabriela Fischer and Daniele Detanico
In judo competition for visual impairment, athletes of different classes compete against each other in the same category; B1 athletes are totally blind, whereas B2 and B3 athletes are partially sighted. To test for potential competition disparities due a single category of athletes, this study aimed to compare competitive and technical–tactical performance in visually impaired judo athletes with different degrees of visual impairment. The authors analyzed 340 judo matches from the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. The scores, penalties, efficiency index, and types of medals were examined, as well as the technical variation and temporal structure. The main finding was that blind judo athletes presented lower scores (p < .05; effect size [ES] = 0.43–0.73), medals (p < .05), and efficiency (p < .05; ES = 0.40–0.73); different patterns of play; and a shorter time to lose than partially sighted athletes (p = .027; ES = 0.10–0.14). However, the penalties were similar between classes (p > .05; ES = 0.07–0.14). The odds ratio of a winning medal was 3.5–8 times less in blind athletes than in partially sighted athletes (p < .01). In conclusion, blind judo athletes presented lower competitive and technical–tactical performance than athletes with some residual functional vision. These findings provide support for the development of new evidence-based criteria for judo classification based on vision impairment.