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“Keep Moving”: Experiences of People With Parkinson’s and Their Care Partners in a Dance Class

Laura Prieto, Michael L. Norris, and Luis Columna

The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of people with Parkinson’s (PwP) and their care partners (CPs) who participated in a Parkinson’s-focused community dance class in a northeastern state of the United States. In this qualitative inquiry, participants included five PwP and their respective CPs (n = 5). Three major, recurrent, and interrelated themes emerged from the data. These themes were (a) keep moving, (b) compassion in action, and (c) acceptance and freedom in dance. These themes captured personal and environmental factors that influenced the participation of PwP and their CPs in a dance class and how they perceived that dance influenced their quality of life. The themes described the obstacles, motives, and perceived outcomes of participating in dance. The findings emphasize the need for future dance interventions and programs that consider the CPs’ role in promoting participation for PwP in dance classes.

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Dance Programs for School-Age Individuals With Disabilities: A Systematic Review

Laura A. Prieto, Justin A. Haegele, and Luis Columna

The purpose of this systematic review was to examine published research literature pertaining to dance programs for school-age individuals with disabilities by describing study characteristics and major findings. Electronic database searches were conducted to identify relevant articles published between January 2008 and August 2018. Sixteen articles met all inclusion criteria, and extracted data from the articles included major findings, study design characteristics (e.g., sample size), and dance program characteristics (e.g., location of program). The methodological quality of each study was assessed using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool. Major findings expand on previous reviews on dance by including school-age individuals with disabilities. The critical appraisal of the articles demonstrates a gap in study design rigor between studies. Future research should aim to specify sampling strategies, use theories to frame the impact of dance programs, and provide a thorough description of ethical processes and dance classes.

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A Feasibility Trial for Virtual Administration of the Test of Gross Motor Development-3 for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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.

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“I Can Do It”: Perceived Competence of Parents of Autistic Children After Participating in a Physical Activity Intervention

Luis Columna, Justin A. Haegele, Ashlyn Barry, and Laura Prieto

Background: Autistic children can benefit from physical activity (PA) in a variety of ways. However, autistic children tend not to meet PA recommendations and, consequently, may not experience the associated benefits. Parental PA support can facilitate PA participation among autistic children, but parents of autistic children may lack the skills to help their child engage in PA. Few studies, to date, have examined the outcomes of parent-mediated PA interventions for autistic children. The purpose of this study was to explore parents’ perceived behavioral control (PBC) to support their autistic children in PA after their participation in a PA intervention. Methods: The theory of planned behavior served as the framework for this descriptive–qualitative investigation. Fifteen parents (each with 1 autistic child in the intervention) participated in semistructured interviews (3 wk after the intervention), which were transcribed and then analyzed using thematic line-by-line analysis. Results: Three themes characterized the changes to parents’ PBC after completing the PA intervention. Those themes were: (1) I learned by son! (2) You are my coach! and (3) I can do it! Conclusions: The results showed that by participating in a parent-mediated PA intervention, parents experienced improved confidence and awareness of their child’s abilities, thus enhancing their PBC. Future research is needed to examine how these improvements in PBC may influence the actual PA behaviors of autistic children.