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Recreational Participation of Children with High Functioning Autism

Abstract

The recreation of children with High Functioning Autism (HFA) is not well understood. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to compare the recreational engagement of children with HFA and their typically developing peers. Children with HFA (n = 30) and peers (n = 31) were similar on key characteristics that may impact recreation except those related to the HFA attributes. Children with HFA differed from peers in terms of diversity (p = .002), social aspects (p = .006) and locations (p < .001) of recreation. The two groups were not statistically different in personal intensity (p = .684), enjoyment (p = .239) or preferences (p = .788) of recreation. A recreational profile was developed to benefit parents and clinicians in supporting the recreation of these children.

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Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions to this study of colleagues Dr. Sara Ahmed, Dr. Janice Dunn and Mr. Alan Howard as well as the families who participated in the study.

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Correspondence to Marie-Christine Potvin.

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This paper was based on the first author’s doctoral dissertation. Her doctoral studies were funded in part by the Organization for Autism Research, the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and the Judith Kornbluth Gelfand Pediatric Fellowship.

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Potvin, MC., Snider, L., Prelock, P. et al. Recreational Participation of Children with High Functioning Autism. J Autism Dev Disord 43, 445–457 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012-1589-6

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Keywords

  • Recreation
  • Leisure
  • Autism
  • Autistic disorder
  • Asperger disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder