Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 2526–2531 | Cite as

Brief Report: Coaching Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder in a School-Based Multi-Sport Program

  • Edoardo G. F. RossoEmail author
Brief Report


While physical activity (PA) is often overwhelming for people with ASD, appropriate engagement strategies can result in increased motivation to participate and associated physical and psychosocial benefits. In this framework, the multi-sport Supporting Success program aims to inform good-practice coaching strategies for community coaches to engage with adolescents with ASD in order to foster socialisation. The project employs a community development approach and a Participatory Action Research (PAR) design. Methods include ongoing consultation, focus groups, briefing/debriefing sessions and questionnaire surveys. Preliminary findings indicate that coaching strategies and program design are fundamental variables in the use of sport/PA to help adolescents with ASD to develop social skills and share positive experiences with peers, coaches, educators and local community members.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Sport coaching PA Participatory Action Research (PAR) 



The author acknowledges the Modbury Special School for funding the implementation of the Supporting Success multi-sport program and Adelaide United F.C., Netball SA, the South Australian Cricket Association and Inclusive Sport SA for participating in the design and/or delivery of related activities. The author also acknowledges the work of colleagues and volunteers of the Division of Health Sciences’ Sport and Development program (University of South Australia) and the work of Modbury Special School staff and support officers involved with the Supporting Success multi-sport project. A first version of this paper was presented at the 29th Australian Council for Health and Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Biennial International Conference in Adelaide, South Australia on Monday 13 April 2015.

Author Contributions

E. Rosso designed the study from which this data was taken, developed the concept for the current paper, collected and analyzed the data, and wrote the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Health SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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