The Use of a Multicomponent Behavioral Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders across Inclusive Community Settings
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Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are generally less physically active than individuals without disability due to factors such as lack of motor coordination and inadequate transportation resources that can result in various barriers to participation. This affects their independence and may interfere with expectations (e.g., employment) during adulthood. It is essential to explore ways to teach physical activity so people with ASD can generalize skills in community settings. This study examined the effect of a multicomponent behavioral intervention that included (a) the Exercise Buddy application, (b) a system of least prompts, (c) an incremental increase of criteria, and (d) reinforcement to teach three adolescents with ASD functional movement exercises (e.g., squat). All participants increased their mastery of performing these exercises compared to baseline and generalized these skills across two community settings.
KeywordsYoung adults with autism spectrum disorder Physical activity Technology Inclusive community fitness
This study was funded by Ball State University’s Aspire Start-Up grant.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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