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Physical Fitness and Fundamental Motor Skill Performance in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Attending A Summer Day Camp: A Pilot Study

Shannon Titus Dieringer, Constance E. McIntosh, Anthony D. Mahon, Caitlin M. Pistor, Brandon J. Dykstra, Jennifer M. Erichsen, David E. McIntosh


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often demonstrate deficits in motor skill performance, such as running, jumping, kicking, and physical fitness in comparison to children without ASD. The relationships between physical fitness and motor skills have been largely unexplored in children with ASD. This paper describes the implementation of a summer camp program that focused on physical activity and motor skill development for children with ASD; a secondary purpose was to assess  motor skill performance, muscle strength and aerobic fitness correlations in children who have ASD. This study was conducted at a summer day camp for children with ASD. Participants completed a pre-screening process to determine appropriateness for the study. Measurements included wellness checks, motor skills testing, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and gross motor skills. Cross sectional data were collected using “snapshot” data collection. Ten boys with ASD participated in the study. Overall, no significance was found regarding the correlation between gross motor skills and fitness levels of the participants.

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ASD; camp; motor skills; physical fitness

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