Strategies for Teaching Golf Skills to Children on the Autism Spectrum Using Newell’s Constraints Model


  • Rio Watanabe The Ohio State University
  • Samuel R. Hodge The Ohio State University
  • Jacqueline D. Goodway The Ohio State University


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has been determined that approximately one in 36 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children on the autism spectrum often seek inclusive recreational opportunities, particularly in sports. Golf can be a suitable activity for children on the autism spectrum because it can be played individually and has significant structure and rules. The purpose of this paper is to describe Newell’s constraint model and then provide an overview of the design of an adapted golf program for children on the autism spectrum using this approach. This paper will also highlight the individual constraints that need to be considered in the instructional process, the types of manipulation of environmental constraints, and the kinds of developmentally appropriate golf tasks that will enhance children’s learning of golf skills. The paper is tailored for physical education teachers incorporating or considering golf programs as a part of their curriculum.





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