A Therapeutic Skating Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a highly structured therapeutic skating intervention on motor outcomes and functional capacity in 2 boys with autism spectrum disorder aged 7 and 10 years.

Methods:

This multiple-baseline, single-subject study assigned participants to three 1-hour skating sessions per week for 12 weeks focusing on skill and motor development. Multiple data points assessed (a) fidelity to the intervention and (b) outcomes measures including the Pediatric Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go, floor to stand, Six-Minute Walk Test, goal attainment, and weekly on-ice testing.

Results:

Improvements were found in balance, motor behavior, and functional capacity by posttest with gains remaining above pretest levels at follow-up.

Conclusions:

Therapeutic skating may produce physical benefits for children with autism spectrum disorder and offer a viable, inexpensive community-based alternative to other forms of physical activity.

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