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Review of Select Studies Supporting the Use of Martial Arts with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Michelle Liu


Martial arts have been increasingly used as an intervention program to produce greater benefits for individuals with autism. Evidence of implementing martial arts (i.e., Nei Yang Gong, Dejian Qigong, and aikido) as the intervention programs (e.g., exercise, social/behavior) for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been supported by several empirical studies (e.g., Chan at al., 2011; Chan at al., 2013; Polak et al., 2019; Zou et al., 2017). Three supported articles will be introduced on how each research findings have supported martial arts as the intervention program to improve individuals with ASD in the areas of cognitive functions, social/communication skills, and motor development. The purpose of this article is to review these studies that indicate the effectiveness of using martial arts as an intervention program to improve the clinical symptoms (e.g., stereotypic behaviors, social-emotional functioning, cognitive and attention) for individuals with ASD. 

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Martial arts; autism; ASD; physical activity

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