Beneficial Effects of Clinical Exercise Rehabilitation for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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ABSTRACT

Magnusson JE, Cobham C, McLeod R .

Beneficial Effects of Clinical Exercise Rehabilitation for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

JEPonline 2012;15(2):71-79.

Although exercise programs have shown health and behavioral benefits for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), more information is needed about the types of exercise used and how programs are designed to enhance their effectiveness. The purpose of the current study was to investigate if an individually-tailored, high-intensity exercise program would have a positive effect on the physical fitness and behaviors of children and adolescents with ASD. Assessments of physical fitness and positive/negative behaviors were undertaken preand post-intervention. Improvements across all physical fitness and behavioral variables tested were found following participation in the exercise program. These findings demonstrate that a high-intensity exercise-based program administered with an ASD population is an effective method to improve ASD-specific issues as well as health and fitness variables in this population.

Key Words: Autism, Asperger’s, PPD-NOS, Exercise, Physical Activity, Sleep

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