The Use of a Multicomponent Behavioral Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders across Inclusive Community Settings

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Bellini, S., & Akullian, J. (2007). A meta-analysis of video modeling and video self-modeling interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Exceptional Children, 73, 264–287. https://doi.org/10.1177/001440290707300301.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bodde, A., & Seo, D. (2009). A review of social and environmental barriers to physical activity for adults with intellectual disabilities. Disability and Health Journal, 2, 57–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2008.11.004.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Criado, K.K., Sharp, W.G., McCracken, C.E., De Vinck-Baroody, O., Dong, L., Aman, M.G., et al. (2017). Overweight and obese status in children with autism spectrum disorder and disruptive behavior. Autism, 22(4), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361316683888.

  4. Fittipaldi-Wert, J., & Mowling, C. M. (2009). Using visual supports for students with autism in physical education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 80, 39–43. https://doi.org/10.1080/07303084.2009.10598281.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kennedy, C. H. (2005). Single-case designs for educational research. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

  6. King, A. M., Thomeczek, M., Voreis, G., & Scott, V. (2014). iPad® use in children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder: An observational study. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 30, 159–173. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265659013510922.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. LaLonde, K. B., MacNeill, B. R., Eversole, L. W., Ragotzy, S. P., & Poling, A. (2014). Increasing physical activity in young adults with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8, 1679–1684. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2014.09.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Lang, R., Koegel, L. K., Ashbaugh, K., Regester, A., Ence, W., & Smith, W. (2010). Physical exercise and individuals with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 565–576. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2010.01.006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. McCoy, S. M., Jakicic, J. M., & Gibbs, B. B. (2016). Comparison of obesity, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors between adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and without. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 2317–2326. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-016-2762-0.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Menear, K. S., & Neumeier, W. H. (2015). Promoting physical activity for students with autism spectrum disorder: Barriers, benefits, and strategies for success. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 86, 43–48. https://doi.org/10.1080/07303084.2014.998395.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Pan, C., Tsai, C., Chu, C., & Hsieh, K. (2011). Physical activity and self-determined motivation of adolescents with and without autism spectrum disorders in inclusive physical education. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 733–741. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2010.08.007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Platos, M., & Wojaczek, K. (2017). Broadening the scope of peer-mediated intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 747–750. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3429-1.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  13. Roid, G. H. (2003). Stanford–Binet intelligence scales. Itasca: Riverside Publishing.

  14. Rosenberg, N. E., Schwartz, I. S., & Davis, C. A. (2010). Evaluating the utility of commercial videotapes for teaching hand washing to children with autism. Education and Treatment of Children, 33, 443–455. https://doi.org/10.1353/etc.0.0098.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Sarol, H., & Çimen, Z. (2015). The effects of adapted recreational physical activity on the life quality of individuals with autism. Anthropologist, 21, 522–527.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Shogren, K. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Rifenbark, G. G., & Little, T. D. (2015). Relationships between self-determination and postschool outcomes for youth with disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 48, 256–267. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466913489733.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Sorensen, C., & Zarrett, N. (2014). Benefits of physical activity for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: A comprehensive review. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1, 344–353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40489-014-0027-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Srinivasan, S. M., Pescatello, L. S., & Bhat, A. N. (2014). Current perspectives on physical activity and exercise recommendations for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Physical Therapy, 94, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20130157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Stodden, D. F., Goodway, J. D., Langendorfer, S. J., Roberton, M., A., Rudisill, M. E., Garcia, C., & Garcia, J. E. (2008). A developmental perspective on the role of motor skill competence in physical activity: An emergent relationship. Quest, 60, 290–306.

  20. Todd, T., & Reid, G. (2006). Increasing physical activity in individuals with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21, 167–176.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Todd, T., Reid, G., & Butler-Kisber, L. (2010). Cycling for students with ASD: Self-regulation promotes sustained physical activity. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 27, 226–241.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Walker, B. (2015). Growing up on the spectrum: How high-functioning young adults with autism transition to independence (Unpublished honors thesis). University of Puget Sound, Tacoma.

  23. Wechsler, D. (2014). Wechsler adult intelligence scale (4th ed.). San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.

Download references

Funding

This study was funded by Ball State University’s Aspire Start-Up grant.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Laura Bassette.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

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.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

Laura Bassette, Department of Special Education, Ball State University; Jessica Kulwicki, Department of Educational Psychology, Ball State University; Shannon Titus Dieringer, Department of Special Education, Ball State University; Kimberly A. Zoder-Martell, Department of Special Education, Ball State University; Ryan Heneisen, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Ball State University

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bassette, L., Kulwicki, J., Dieringer, S.T. et al. The Use of a Multicomponent Behavioral Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders across Inclusive Community Settings. Behav Analysis Practice 11, 358–369 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-018-00285-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Young adults with autism spectrum disorder
  • Physical activity
  • Technology
  • Inclusive community fitness