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14-08-2019 | Brief Report | Uitgave 11/2019

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 11/2019

Brief Report: The Utility of a Golf Training Program for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 11/2019
Nathaniel A. Shanok, Marlene Sotelo, Jen Hong
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition characterized by impairments in communication, social interactions, as well as motor functioning. Additionally, individuals with ASD are at a greater risk for health concerns due in part to a more sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, it may be advantageous to introduce more physical activity or sport-based training into autism therapeutic programs. Here, we introduce and evaluate a 6-week, 12 session golf-training program that integrates the teaching of autism-relevant social and communicative skills into each lesson. The results showed that all 46 participants (M = 11.46, SD = 6.21) improved on at least one outcome measure, and statistically significant increases in all measures (communication skills, social skills, motor skills, and regulatory skills) were detected from pre to post. These preliminary findings highlight the utility of an autism-targeted golf training program for all ages; future studies should seek to replicate this strategy in other settings and using other sports or recreational activities.

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