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Title: The impact of physical activities on the overall functioning of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when included with non-autistic children verses segregated
Author: Omair, Mayan Luay
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis examines the impact of a variety of exercises on the overall functioning of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when included with non-autistic children versus segregated. Of particular interest is the difference between segregated vs. inclusive physical exercise in improving their physical, cognitive, social and emotional and language and communication skills. Fifteen children with ASD and six non-autistic children aged 7-10 years old were examined while engaged in a physical exercise-based program. Thirty-eight parents (fathers and mothers) of the 21 participants were interviewed throughout the program period. Semi-structured interviews, direct observation, and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (M ABC-2) were employed pre, during and post 10 weeks of physical exercise delivered in an inclusive or segregated manner. Data collected from the observation, M ABC-2 and the interviews revealed that a variety of exercises (swimming, jogging, and mixed games) had a significant positive impact on children with autism in both groups. Exercise enhanced their physical, cognitive, social and emotional, language and communication skills and their psychological health as well as decreased repetitive stereo typical behaviors. In specific to the inclusive group, children with autism had a slightly higher improvement in their social, motor, and language skills. Including children with autism during exercise should be considered when trying to enhance ASD symptoms as inclusive physical exercise appear to facilitate the development of ASD’s dysfunction areas.
Supervisor: Utley, Andrea ; Astill, Sarah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available