Brief Report: Does Social Functioning Moderate the Motor Outcomes of a Physical Activity Program for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders-A Pilot Study

J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Jan;49(1):415-421. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3717-4.


Several recent studies revealed that physical activity programs that focus on fundamental motor skills could enhance both motor and social performance. The purpose of this pilot was to explore whether the social impairment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) moderated the motor outcomes of a physical activity program. Nine children with ASD attended a 2-week program that adopted the Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching. Significant improvements on motor skills were found in all participants. Furthermore, children with more social impairment demonstrated greater motor improvement in comparison to those with less social problems. Findings suggest the importance of social factors on the outcomes of physical activity programs and the interplays between social and motor domains in ASD interventions.

Keywords: ASD; Chinese; Motor skills; Physical activity; TGMD.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / physiopathology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Early Intervention, Educational / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Pilot Projects
  • Social Behavior*