Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 415–421 | Cite as

Brief Report: Does Social Functioning Moderate the Motor Outcomes of a Physical Activity Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders—A Pilot Study

  • Jin BoEmail author
  • YanLi Pang
  • Liangsan Dong
  • Yu Xing
  • Yuan Xiang
  • Mingting Zhang
  • Morgan Wright
  • Bo Shen
Brief Report


Several recent studies revealed that physical activity programs that focus on fundamental motor skills could enhance both motor and social performance. The purpose of this pilot was to explore whether the social impairment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) moderated the motor outcomes of a physical activity program. Nine children with ASD attended a 2-week program that adopted the Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching. Significant improvements on motor skills were found in all participants. Furthermore, children with more social impairment demonstrated greater motor improvement in comparison to those with less social problems. Findings suggest the importance of social factors on the outcomes of physical activity programs and the interplays between social and motor domains in ASD interventions.


ASD Physical activity Motor skills TGMD Chinese 



This project is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation in China (Grant # C2111-31671162). Special thanks to all the clinicians at the children learning disability clinic who not only assisted in assessment and diagnosis, but also provided medical support during the physical activity intervention. Thanks to all the parents, volunteers, and children who have dedicated their time and effort in this project.

Author Contributions

JB and BS designed the study. YP coordinated the study. YP, YX, YX, MZ, and LD collected data and were involved in statistical analyses. JB drafted the initial manuscript. All authors were involved in the result interpretations, critically revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Bo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • YanLi Pang
    • 1
  • Liangsan Dong
    • 1
  • Yu Xing
    • 1
  • Yuan Xiang
    • 1
  • Mingting Zhang
    • 1
  • Morgan Wright
    • 3
  • Bo Shen
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Physical EducationCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA
  3. 3.Center for Human Growth and DevelopmentUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Division of KinesiologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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