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Using the ICF Model to Increase Physical Activity of Young Adults with ASD Residing in Group Homes

Jason Bishop, Chad Nichols, Brandon McIntire, Martin E. Block


Autism spectrum disorder is a high-prevalence condition that can result in significant impairment of health and function throughout the lifespan. The Autism CARES Act of 2014 placed emphasis on the successful transition of adolescents from secondary school and associated supports to community and adult living. Physical activity has been shown to decrease health disparities associated with disability. This paper presents the International Classification of Function, Disability, and Health (ICF) as a potential framework to assist caregivers in identifying barriers and solutions to physical activity participation among young adults with ASD transitioning to adult living. Jake, a fictitious individual with severe ASD symptoms, is presented as an individual who the authors of the CARES Act may have envisioned would benefit from the law. Selected components of the ICF are presented in relation to Jake’s symptoms associated with ASD which initially are exercise barriers. The ICF is presented to provide solutions to the exercise barriers.

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ASD; Physical Activity; Transition

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