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A Scoping Review of Inclusive Out-of-School Time Physical Activity Programs for Children and Youth With Physical Disabilities

Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Viviane Grassmann, Krystn Orr, Amy C. McPherson, Guy E. Faulkner, and F. Virginia Wright

The objective of this study was to comprehensively evaluate inclusive out-of-school time physical activity programs for children/youth with physical disabilities. A search of the published literature was conducted and augmented by international expertise. A quality appraisal was conducted; only studies with quality ratings ≥60% informed our best practice recommendations. Seventeen studies were included using qualitative (n = 9), quantitative (n = 5), or mixed (n = 3) designs. Programs had a diversity of age groups, group sizes, and durations. Most programs were recreational level, involving both genders. Rehabilitation staff were the most common leaders. Outcomes focused on social skills/relationships, physical skill development, and psychological well-being, with overall positive effects shown in these areas. The best practice recommendations are consistent with an abilities-based approach emphasizing common group goals and interests; cooperative activities; mastery-oriented, individualized instruction; and developmentally appropriate, challenging activities. Results indicate that inclusive out-of-school time physical activity programs are important for positive psychosocial and physical skill development of children/youth with physical disabilities.

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Opening the Door to Physical Activity for Children With Cerebral Palsy: Experiences of Participants in the BeFAST or BeSTRONG Program

Sarpreet Kahlon, Kiah Brubacher-Cressman, Erica Caron, Keren Ramonov, Ruth Taubman, Katherine Berg, F. Virginia Wright, and Alicia J. Hilderley

This study explored children’s experiences of participating in one-to-one physical training programs to identify how programs can best promote physical activity participation for children with cerebral palsy. A qualitative descriptive design with self-determination theory was used. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 6 children with cerebral palsy, age 8–14 years, who participated in a fundamental-movement-skills or lower-limb strength-training program. A hybrid approach of deductive and inductive analysis was used. Four themes developed: World around me (i.e., social/physical environments), Made for me (i.e., individualizing programs), Teach me how (i.e., teaching strategies facilitated skill learning), and I know me (i.e., sense of self). Results include recommendations for delivery of physical training programs. Using an individualized approach in a structured one-to-one program that employs skill-teaching strategies and self-reflection opportunities may provide a foundation to increase physical activity participation, related self-confidence, and desire to participate.

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The Value of Incorporating Inclusive Sports in Schools: An Exploration of Unified Sport Experiences

Roxy Helliker O’Rourke, Krystn Orr, Rebecca Renwick, F. Virginia Wright, James Noronha, Kirsten Bobbie, and Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos

School sports programs intentionally created for students with and without disabilities may increase social participation of students with intellectual disabilities (IDs). Special Olympics Unified Sports is one program where students with and without ID participate on one team. Guided by a critical realist paradigm, this study explored the perceptions of students with and without ID and coaches of in-school Unified Sports. Interviews were conducted with 21 youths (12 with ID) and 14 coaches. Thematic analysis resulted in four developed themes (identified is outdated language): Inclusion—Is it aweor a “they?” Roles and Responsibilities, Educational Context for Inclusion, and Buy-In. Findings suggest students with and without ID and coaches value the inclusive nature of Unified Sports. Future research should explore training for coaches on inclusive practices (e.g., language), and optimal methods for consistent training (e.g., use of training manuals) to foster the philosophy of inclusion within school sports.

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Quick, Effective Screening Tasks Identify Children With Medical Conditions or Disabilities Needing Physical Literacy Support

Patricia E. Longmuir, Adam Chubbs Payne, Natalie Beshara, Leonardo R. Brandão, F. Virginia Wright, Daniela Pohl, Sherri Lynne Katz, Anna McCormick, Denise De Laat, Robert J. Klaassen, Donna L. Johnston, Jane Lougheed, Johannes Roth, Hugh J. McMillan, Sunita Venkateswaran, Erick Sell, Asif Doja, Addo Boafo, Gail Macartney, Katherine Matheson, and Brian M. Feldman

Purpose: This study evaluated screening tasks able to identify children with medical conditions or disabilities who may benefit from physical literacy. Method: Children completed ≤20 screening tasks during their clinic visit and then the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (2nd edition) at a separate visit. Total Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy scores <30th percentile were categorized as potentially needing physical literacy support. Receiver operator characteristic curves identified assessment cut points with 80% sensitivity and 40% specificity relative to total physical literacy scores. Results: 223 children (97 girls; 10.1 [2.6] y) participated. Physical activity adequacy, predilection, and physical competence achieved ≥80% sensitivity and ≥40% specificity in both data sets. Adequacy ≤ 6.5 had 86% to 100% sensitivity and 48% to 49% specificity. Daily screen time >4.9 hours combined with Adequacy ≤6.15 had 88% to 10% sensitivity and 53% to 56% specificity. Conclusions: Activity adequacy, alone or with screen time, most effectively identified children likely to benefit from physical literacy support. Adequacy and screen time questionnaires are suitable for clinical use. Similar results regardless of diagnosis suggest physical competence deficits are not primary determinants of active lifestyles. Research to enhance screening specificity is required.