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Teri Todd

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Teri Todd, Greg Reid and Lynn Butler-Kisber

Individuals with autism often lack motivation to engage in sustained physical activity. Three adolescents with severe autism participated in a 16-week program and each regularly completed 30 min of cycling at the end of program. This study investigated the effect of a self-regulation instructional strategy on sustained cycling, which included self-monitoring, goal setting, and self-reinforcement. Of particular interest was the development of self-efficacy during the physical activity as a mediator of goal setting. A multiple baseline changing criterion design established the effectiveness of the intervention. The results suggest that self-regulation interventions can promote sustained participation in physical activity for adolescents with severe autism.

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Yumeng Li, Melissa A. Mache and Teri A. Todd

The purpose of this study was to compare the complexity of postural control between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical developing children during altered visual and somatosensory conditions using the multiscale entropy. Eleven children with ASD and 11 typical developing children were tested during quiet standing under 4 conditions: (1) eyes open and standing on a stable surface, (2) eyes open and standing on a compliant surface, (3) eyes closed and standing on a stable surface, and (4) eyes closed and standing on a compliant surface. The center of pressure data were collected, and multiscale entropy and sway area of center of pressure were calculated. The ASD group exhibited lower complexity in mediolateral sway compared with typical developing children with a large effect size (partial η 2 = .21). However, based on the different postural control modes, the anteroposterior sway complexity did not demonstrate a similar decrease for children with ASD. The altered visual or somatosensory conditions alone did not significantly affect the postural sway complexity. The authors concluded that the complexity of postural control for children with ASD was partially compromised. Reduced mediolateral sway complexity could potentially increase the risks of fall.