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Pediatr Phys Ther. 2011 Summer;23(2):187-93. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318218f149.

The effects of aerobic exercise on academic engagement in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pennsylvania 17003, USA. oriel@lvc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine whether participation in aerobic exercise before classroom activities improves academic engagement and reduces stereotypic behaviors in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

METHODS:

This study employed a within-subjects crossover design, using a treatment condition (aerobic exercise) and a control condition, across 4 classrooms. The treatment condition included 15 minutes of running/jogging followed by a classroom task. The control condition included a classroom task not preceded by exercise. The number of stereotypic behaviors, percentage of on-task behavior, and correct/incorrect responses were measured. The Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to compare differences between conditions.

RESULTS:

Statistically significant improvements were found in correct responding following exercise (P < .05). No significant differences were found for on-task behavior or stereotypic behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Consistent with findings in older children, these results indicate that aerobic exercise prior to classroom activities may improve academic responding in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

PMID:
21552085
DOI:
10.1097/PEP.0b013e318218f149
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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