Physical Activity and Autism

Physical Activity and Autism Evidence-Based ResearchPhysical Activity and Autism

Autism Research published a meta-analysis on physical activity and autism.  The goal of the research was to determine the effect of physical activity interventions on children with autism spectrum disorder.  The meta-analysis included 29 studies with 30 independent samples (N = 1009).  The research on physical activity and autism indicated the following:

– overall moderate effect (g = 0.62) of physical activity interventions on a variety of outcomes.

– moderate to large positive effects were revealed for participants exposed to interventions targeting the development of:

  • manipulative skills.
  • locomotor skills.
  • skill-related fitness
  • social functioning
  • muscular strength and endurance.

– the environment was the only subgrouping variable (intervention characteristics) to produce a significant difference between moderators.

The researchers concluded that physical activity is an evidence-based strategy for youth with autism spectrum disorder.

Reference:  Healy, S., Nacario, A., Braithwaite, R. E., & Hopper, C. (2018). The effect of physical activity interventions on youth with autism spectrum disorder: A meta‐analysis. Autism Research.


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Movement Flashcards

Movement Flashcards – Movement Flashcards digital download includes 10 aerobic exercises with flashcards templates. Students can get physical activity while reviewing material. The 10 aerobic activities include: run in place, jumping, hopping, squats, lunges, skipping, twists, cross crawls, jumping jacks and marching. Each page includes a picture image of the aerobic exercise along with a blank template to type in 18 flashcards. You choose what to work on for academic material.

Classroom Activity Posters

Classroom Activity Posters is a download collection of 16 exercise activities, 4 large posters and a brief, simple video demonstration of each exercise.The posters are divided into four groups: posture, alerting, ready to work and focus/balance. All of the exercises are performed in standing. Try these activities prior to starting fine motor activities, for posture breaks, to refocus students attention and for vestibular/ proprioceptive input in the classroom.  Find out more information.

Physical Activity and Autism - Evidence-Based Research