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Examining the Impact of a Multi-Sport Camp for Girls Ages 8–11 With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lindsay Guest, Robert Balogh, Shilpa Dogra, Meghann Lloyd

Abstract


Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased significantly over the past decade; however, rarely does research focus solely on girls with ASD.
Girls with ASD are more likely to have less proficient motor skills than both their peers with typical development, and boys with and without ASD. This further discourages participation in sport, recreation, and leisure activities and deprives the opportunity to develop social skills among peers; both of which are primary goals of therapeutic recreation. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a multi-sport camp intervention aimed at improving motor skills, physical activity levels, physical self-perceptions, and adaptive behaviour of 13 girls with ASD between the ages of 8 to 11. Results indicated that the camp was effective at improving motor skills (p<0.0001), physical self-perceptions (p=0.044) and social skills (p=0.005); however, further research with larger samples and a longer duration of intervention is necessary.


Keywords


Autism spectrum disorder; girls; fundamental motor skills; physical activity; summer camp intervention; therapeutic recreation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18666/TRJ-2017-V51-I2-7383

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