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A Community-Based, Adaptive Soccer Program for Children with Autism: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation

Lorna M. Hayward, Maria Fragala-Pinkham, Kenneth Johnson, Alcy Torres

Abstract


The study purpose was to describe and evaluate the effectiveness of a 6-week, community-based, adaptive soccer program for 18 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Pre- and post-soccer skill outcomes and a parent satisfaction survey documented the intervention effectiveness. Program physical intensity was moderate since the children averaged 5546 (SD = 2817) steps per session. Improvements in kicking accuracy (p = 0.048) and 15-yard agility time (p < 0.001) were observed and parents were satisfied with the program.  This research supported the feasibility and effectiveness of an adaptive soccer program on improving soccer related skills and physical activity outcomes in children with ASD.


Keywords


autism spectrum disorder; child; physical activity; soccer; community-based adaptive sports programs

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