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Emily Bremer and Meghann Lloyd
The purpose of this pilot study was to demonstrate the impact of a fundamentalmotor-skill (FMS) intervention on the motor skills of 3- to 7-year-old children with autism-like characteristics in an early intervention classroom. A secondary purpose was to qualitatively assess the impact of the program as described by the classroom’s special education teacher. All children in the classroom (N = 5) took part in an FMS intervention for two 6-wk blocks (fall 2013 and winter 2014). Motor-skill proficiency and social skills were assessed at 3 times: baseline, after Block 1 of the intervention, and after Block 2 of the intervention. In addition, an interview was conducted with the classroom teacher after Assessment 3 to draw further insights into the relative success and impact of the program. Results were analyzed through a visual analysis and presented individually. They indicated improvements in the participants’ individual FMS and social-skill scores, possible improvements in declarative knowledge, and an increase in the special education teacher’s readiness to teach FMS; further research with larger, controlled samples is warranted.
Meghann Lloyd, Greg Reid, and Marcel Bouffard
The research purpose was to examine the domain specific self-regulatory skills of boys with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD, n = 10) compared to peers without DCD (n = 10). A sport specific problem-solving task (hockey shot) and an educational problem-solving task (peg solitaire) were compared. Guided by Zimmerman’s (2000) social cognitive model of self-regulation, participants were taught to think aloud. Codes were developed under five categories: goals, knowledge, emotion, monitoring, and evaluation. The quantity of verbalization was similar in both groups but differences were found in verbalization quality. Results indicate that boys with DCD have emotional and planning differences on the hockey task, but only planning differences were evident on the peg solitaire task.
Marie Abu Itham, Serene Kerpan, Robert Balogh, and Meghann Lloyd
Children with autism engage in active play in different ways than children who are neurotypical, but their active play behaviors are not well understood. Research with twins and triplets with autism offers a unique opportunity to gain a clear picture of the play behaviors of children with autism because twins and triplets share many similarities (age, access to toys, etc.). Through semistructured interviews, this descriptive phenomenological study aimed to describe the active play behaviors of 19 twins and triplets with autism from the perspective of their parents (N = 9). The interviews revealed two main themes: (a) parents’ descriptions of active play and (b) parents’ descriptions of social play. The results reveal the diverse active and social play behaviors of twins and triplets with autism; parents described their children’s play behavior when engaging in sensory, indoor, outdoor, and organized play. These results suggest that children with autism may be meeting the definition of active play in nontraditional ways.
John T. Foley, Meghann Lloyd, and Viviene A. Temple
This study examined temporal trends in body mass index (BMI) among United States adults with intellectual disability (ID) participating in Special Olympics from 2005 to 2010. In addition, the prevalence of obesity was compared with published National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) statistics. After data cleaning, 6,004 height and weight records (male = 57%) were available from the Special Olympics International Healthy Athletes Health Promotion database for the calculation of BMI. Rates of overweight and obesity were very high but generally stable over time. Compared with NHANES statistics, the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher for Special Olympics female participants in each data collection cycle. Integrated efforts to understand the social, environmental, behavioral, and biological determinants of obesity and among Special Olympics participants are needed.
Meghann Lloyd, Travis J. Saunders, Emily Bremer, and Mark S. Tremblay
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential long-term association of motor skill proficiency at 6 years of age and self-reported physical activity (PA) at age 26. Direct motor performance data were collected in 1991 with a follow-up study occurring in 1996, and then indirect questionnaires (self-report) administered in 2001 and 2011. In 2011, 17 participants who were identified as either having high motor proficiency (HMP) or low motor proficiency (LMP) in 1991 completed a series of 4 questionnaires. Analyses were conducted to determine whether there were differences between groups for motor skill proficiency, PA, or sedentary behavior, and whether these outcomes were related across ages. Motor skill proficiency at age 6 was related to self-reported proficiency at age 16 (r = .77, p = .006), and self-reported proficiency between 16 and 26 years (r = .85, p = .001). Motor skill proficiency at age 6 was positively associated with leisure time PA at age 26 in females and participants in the HMP group. The results may provide preliminary evidence about the importance of how early motor skill proficiency relates to long-term PA. More research with larger sample sizes is needed to investigate the importance of motor skills over time.
Leanne K. Elliott, Jonathan A. Weiss, and Meghann Lloyd
Early motor skill interventions have been shown to improve the motor skill proficiency of children with autism spectrum disorder; however, little is known about the secondary effects associated with these types of interventions (e.g., influence on behavior, social skills, family dynamics). The purpose of this qualitative study was to (a) investigate parents’ perceptions of the child-level benefits associated with a fundamental motor skill intervention for their 4-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder and (b) explore how child-level benefits influenced the family unit. Eight parents (N = 8) were interviewed (semistructured) about their experiences with the intervention for their child(ren); the study was grounded in phenomenology. Five main child-level benefits emerged, including improvements with (a) motor skills, (b) social skills, (c) listening skills, (d) turn-taking skills, and (e) transition skills. The child-level benefits then extended to family members in a number of ways (e.g., more positive sibling interactions). These findings highlight several important secondary effects that should be investigated in future research.
Meghann Lloyd, Amy Burghardt, Dale A. Ulrich, and Rosa Angulo-Barroso
Infants with Down syndrome (DS) are described as being less active and they also experience significant delays in motor development. It is hypothesized that early infant physical activity may be influential for the acquisition of independent walking. Physical activity was monitored longitudinally in 30 infants with DS starting at an average age of 10 months participating in a treadmill training intervention. Actiwatches were placed on infants’ trunk and right ankle for a 24-hr period, every other month until walking onset. Data were analyzed to separate sedentary-to-light activity (low-act) and moderate-to-vigorous activity (high-act). Results showed that more leg high-act at an average age of 12 and 14 months is related to earlier onset of walking. It is recommended that early leg activity should be promoted in infants with DS.
Richard Larouche, Meghann Lloyd, Emily Knight, and Mark S. Tremblay
The current investigation assessed the impact of active school transportation (AST) on average daily step counts, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in 315 children in Grades 4–6 who participated to Cycle 2 of the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) pilot testing. T-tests revealed a significant association between AST and lower BMI values (18.7 ± 3.3 vs. 19.9 ± 3.8 kg/m2). The active commuters accumulated an average of 662 more steps per day, and their waist circumference was lower by an average of 3.1 cm, but these differences were not statistically significant. ANCOVA analyses controlling for age and step counts, found trends toward lower BMI and waist circumference values among the active commuters. These results suggest that AST may be a valid strategy to prevent childhood obesity; further research is needed to determine more precisely the impact of AST on body composition, and the direction of the relationship.