Integrating physical education to teach appropriate play skills to learners with autism: A pilot study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stuart J. Schleien, Professor & Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This pilot study attempted to determine the effects of a collaborative socio-motor, adapted physical education/therapeutic recreation curriculum on the social play and motor development of learners with autism and their nonhandicapped peers in an integrated physical education classroom setting. Six students with autism, ages 4-12, participated with 50 nonhandicapped peers in a 9-week, twice weekly, physical education class at a public elementary school. All participants received training as "Special Friends" as well as instruction in the curriculum which included a variety of lifelong recreation and physical education activities designed to teach social skills and fundamental motor skills. Results of t tests indicated significant reductions in inappropriate play behavior for the younger group at the parallel and cooperative/competitive-dyad social levels of play. Although no other significant changes in participants' behaviors occurred, the following observations indicated increased involvement in the activities by the participants: (a) reduced inappropriate play behavior, (b) reduced target inappropriate behaviors, and (c) development of motor proficiency in catching and striking skills.

Additional Information

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 5, 182-192
Language: English
Date: 1988
Social play, Motor development, Students with autism, Nonhandicapped students, Physical education activities, Therapeutic recreation

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