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Autism. 2019 Aug;23(6):1398-1407. doi: 10.1177/1362361318810221. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Physical activity in young adults with autism spectrum disorder: Parental perceptions of barriers and facilitators.

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1 University of Virginia, USA.
2 Auburn University, USA.
3 The University of Southern Mississippi, USA.


The importance of physical activity in persons with disabilities is well known, yet the prevalence of inactivity remains high. The physical activity behaviors among adults on the autism spectrum are largely unexplored. It is presumed that sedentary behavior and obesity are a greater health issue among young adults on the autism spectrum who no longer receive Individuals with Disabilities Education Act services and supports such as school-based physical education. Using a phenomenology approach, the parents of eight young adults on the autism spectrum were interviewed about their perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to getting their young adults on the autism spectrum physically active. The purpose of this study was to investigate parent's perspective of physical activity barriers and facilitators of their adult children on the autism spectrum. Common themes of both physical activity barriers and facilitators included parents, behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder, and access and opportunities.


autism spectrum disorder; barriers; facilitators; physical activity; young adults


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