Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 3278–3289 | Cite as

Young Children with ASD Participate in the Same Level of Physical Activity as Children Without ASD: Implications for Early Intervention to Maintain Good Health

  • S. Thomas
  • T. Hinkley
  • L. M. Barnett
  • T. May
  • N. RinehartEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Primary-school-aged children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are reported to engage in lower levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) compared to typically developing (TD) children (Jones et al. in PLoS ONE, 12(2):1–23, 2017). Levels of MVPA in young children with ASD remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate MVPA in 4-to-7-year-old children with (n = 37) and without (n = 40) ASD, to determine if MVPA is related to ASD diagnosis; and examine correlates to better inform interventions. Results indicated children with ASD engage in the same levels of MVPA as TD children. Future studies need to further explore MVPA in children with ASD over time to uncover when the divergence in MVPA levels occur and what factors may be associated.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Physical activity (PA) Participation Sleep disorders Moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank all families and pediatricians for taking part in the study and Rotary Health for their continued support.

Funding

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: S.T. is funded by a Rotary Health Illawarra Sunrise scholarship. T.H. was funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (APP1070571). This study was funded by Deakin University’s Faculty of Health. N.R received funding from the Moose Foundation and the Australian Football League to conduct research in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders and inclusion. Nicole Rinehart also received funding from the Ferrero Group Australia as part of its Kinder + Sport pillar of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to promote active lifestyles among young people.

References

  1. Alderman, B. L., Benham-Deal, T. B., & Jenkins, J. M. (2010). Change in parental influence on children’s physical activity over time. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7, 60–67.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) (5th ed.). VA: Arlington.Google Scholar
  3. Ayvazoglu, N. R., Kozub, F. M., Butera, G., & Murray, M. J. (2015). Determinants and challenges in physical activity participation in families with children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders from a family systems perspective. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 47, 93–105.Google Scholar
  4. Baio, J., Wiggins, L., Christensen, D. L., et al. (2018). Prevalance of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2014. Morbidity and Mortalilty Weekly Report, Surveillance Summaries, 67(6), 1–23.Google Scholar
  5. Bandini, L. G., Gleason, J., Curtin, C., Lividini, K., Anderson, S. E., Cermak, S. A., et al. (2013). Comparison of physical activity between children with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children. Autism, 17(1), 44–54.Google Scholar
  6. Bingham, D. D., Costa, S., Hinkley, T., Shire, K. A., Clemes, S. A., & Barber, S. E. (2016). Physical activity during the early years: A systematic review of correlates and determinants. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(3), 384–402.Google Scholar
  7. Brand, S., Jossen, S., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Pushe, U., & Gerber, M. (2015). Impact of aerobic exercise on sleep and motor skills in children with autism spectrum disorders—A pilot study. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 11, 1911–1920.Google Scholar
  8. Brian, A., Taunton, S., Shortt, C., Pennell, A., & Sacko, R. (2019). Predictors of physical activity for preschool children with and without disabilities from socioeconomically disadvantaged settings. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 36(1), 77.Google Scholar
  9. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). Ecological system theory. Annals of Child Development, 6, 187–249.Google Scholar
  10. Carver, A., Timperio, A., & Crawford, D. (2008). Playing it safe: The influence of neighbourhood safety on children's physical activity—A review. Health Place, 14(2), 217–227.Google Scholar
  11. Carver, A., Timperio, A. F., Hesketh, K. D., Ridgers, N. D., Salmon, J. L., & Crawford, D. A. (2011). How is active transport associated with children’s and adolescents’ physical activity over time? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8, 126.Google Scholar
  12. Cliff, D. P., Okely, A. D., Smith, L. M., & Kim, M. (2009). Relationships between fundamental movement skills and objectively measured physical activity in preschool children. Pediatric Exercise Science, 21(4), 436.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155–159.Google Scholar
  14. Colley, R. C., Harvey, A., Grattan, K. P., & Adamo, K. B. (2014). Impact of accelerometer epoch length on physical activity and sedentary behavior outcomes for preschool-aged children. Health Report, 25(1), 3–9.Google Scholar
  15. Conners, C. K. (1997). Conners’ rating scales-revised: Technical manual. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems Inc.Google Scholar
  16. Conners, C. K. (2008). Conners 3rd edition manual. New York: Multi-Health Systems, Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Conners, C. K., Sitarenios, G., Parker, J. D., & Epstein, J. N. (1998). The revised Conners’ parent rating scale (CPRS-R): Variable structure, reliability, and criterion validity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 26(4), 257–268.Google Scholar
  18. Constantino, J. N., & Gruber, C. P. (2012). The social responsiveness scale (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  19. Delahaye, J., Kovacs, E., Sikora, D., Hall, T. A., Orlich, F., Clemons, T. E., et al. (2014). The relationship between health-related quality of life and sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(3), 292–303.Google Scholar
  20. Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A. G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175–191.Google Scholar
  21. Ferreira, I., van der Horst, K., Wendel-Vos, W., Kremers, S., van Lenthe, F. J., & Brug, J. (2007). Environmental correlates of physical activity in youth ? a review and update. Obesity Reviews, 8(2), 129–154.Google Scholar
  22. Freedson, P., Pober, D., & Janz, K. F. (2005). Calibration of accelerometer output for children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(11), S523–S530.Google Scholar
  23. Gustafson, S. L., & Rhodes, R. E. (2006). Parental correlates of physical activity in children and early adolescents. Sports Medicine, 36(1), 79–97.Google Scholar
  24. Hinkley, T., Crawford, D., Salmon, J., Okely, A. D., & Hesketh, K. (2008). Preschool children and physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34(5), 435e7–441e7.Google Scholar
  25. Hinkley, T., Salmon, J., Okely, A. D., Crawford, D., & Hesketh, K. (2011). Influences on preschool children's physical activity: Exploration through focus groups. Family and Community Health, 34(1), 39–50.Google Scholar
  26. Hinkley, T., O’Connell, E., Okely, A. D., Crawford, D., Hesketh, K., & Salmon, J. (2012a). Assessing volume of accelerometry data for reliability in preschool children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(12), 2436–2441.Google Scholar
  27. Hinkley, T., Salmon, J., Okely, A. D., Crawford, D., & Hesketh, K. (2012b). The HAPPY study: Development and reliability of a parent survey to assess correlates of preschool children’s physical activity. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15, 407–417.Google Scholar
  28. Hollway, J. A., & Aman, M. G. (2011). Sleep correlates of pervasive developmental disorders: A review of the literature. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(5), 1399–1421.Google Scholar
  29. IBM Corp. (2016). IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 24.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.Google Scholar
  30. Janssen, X., Cliff, D. P., Reilly, J. J., Hinkley, T., Jones, R. A., Batterham, M., et al. (2013). Predictive validity and classification accuracy of actigraph energy expenditure equations and cut-points in young children. PLoS ONE, 8(11), 1–9.Google Scholar
  31. Janz, K. F., Whitt, J., & Mahoney, L. T. (1995). The stability of children’s physical activity as measured by accelerometry and self-report. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(9), 1326–1332.Google Scholar
  32. Jeste, S. S. (2011). The neurology of autism spectrum disorders. Current Opinion in Neurology, 24, 1–8.Google Scholar
  33. Jones, R. A., Downing, K., Rinehart, N. J., Barnett, L. M., May, T., McGillivray, J. A., et al. (2017). Physical activity, sedentary behavior and their correlates in children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 12(2), 1–23.Google Scholar
  34. Jones, R. A., Hinkley, T., Okely, A. D., & Salmon, J. (2013). Tracking physical activity and sedentary behavior in childhood. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(6), 651–658.Google Scholar
  35. Ketcheson, L., Hauch, J. L., & Ulrich, D. (2018). The levels of physical activity and motor skills in young children with and without autism spectrum disorder, aged 2–5 years. Autism, 22(4), 414–423.Google Scholar
  36. LaGasse, A. B. (2017). Social outcomes in children with autism spectrum disorder: A review of music therapy outcomes. Patient Related Outcome Measures, 8, 23–32.Google Scholar
  37. Lang, C., Brand, S., Feldmeth, A. K., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Pühse, U., & Gerber, M. (2013). Increased self-reported and objectively assessed physical activity predict sleep quality among adolescents. Physiology & Behavior, 120, 46–53.Google Scholar
  38. Loomes, R., Hull, L., & Mandy, W. P. L. (2017). What is the male-to-female ratio in autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 56(6), 466–474.Google Scholar
  39. Loprinzi, P. D., & Trost, S. G. (2010). Parental influences on physical activity behavior in preschool children. Preventative Medicine, 50(3), 129–133.Google Scholar
  40. May, T., Sciberras, E., Brignell, A., & Williams, K. (2017). Autism spectrum disorder: Updated prevalence and comparison of two birth cohorts in a nationally representative Australian sample. BMJ Open, 7(5), e15549.Google Scholar
  41. McCoy, S., Jakicic, J., & Gibbs, B. (2016). Comparison of obesity, physical activity and sedentary behaviors between adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and without. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorder, 46(7), 2317–2326.Google Scholar
  42. Memari, A. H., Ghaheri, B., Ziaee, V., Kordi, R., Hafizi, S., & Moshayedi, P. (2013). Physical activity in children and adolescents with autism assessed by triaxial accelerometry. Pediatric Obesity, 8(2), 150–158.Google Scholar
  43. Memrari, A. H., Panahi, N., Ranjbar, E., Moshayedi, P., Shefiei, M., Kordi, R., et al. (2015). Children with autism spectrum disorder and patterns of participation in daily physical and play activities. Neurology Research International, 2015, 1–7.Google Scholar
  44. Must, A., Phillips, S., Curtin, C., & Bandini, L. G. (2015). Barriers to physical activity in children with autism spectrum disorders: Relationship to physical activity and screen time. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 12(4), 529–534.Google Scholar
  45. Obrusnikova, I., & Cavalier, A. R. (2011). Perceived barriers and facilitators of participation in after-school physical activity by children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 23(3), 195–211.Google Scholar
  46. Owens, J. A., Spirito, A., & McGuinn, M. (2000). The children’s sleep habits questionnaire (CSHQ): Psychometric properties of a survey instrument for school-aged children. Sleep Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research, 23(8), 1–9.Google Scholar
  47. Pan, C. (2008). Objectively measured physical activity between children with autism spectrum disorders and children without disabilities during inclusive recess settings in Taiwan. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1292–1301.Google Scholar
  48. Papadopoulos, N., Stavropoilos, V., McGinley, J., Bellgrove, M., Tonge, B., Murphy, A., et al. (2018). Moderating effect of motor proficiency on the relationship between ADHD symptoms and sleep problems in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—Combined type. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 12, 1–11.Google Scholar
  49. Pate, R. R., Almeida, M. J., McIver, K. L., Pfeiffer, K. A., & Dowda, M. (2006). Validation and calibration of physical activity monitors in preschool children. Obesity, 14(11), 2000–2006.Google Scholar
  50. Pettee Gabriel, K. K., Morrow, J. R., & Woolsey, A. T. (2012). Framework for physical activity as a complex and multidimensional behavior. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 9(1), S11–S18.Google Scholar
  51. Pugliese, J., & Tinsley, B. (2007). Parental socialization of child and adolescent physical activity: A meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 331–343.Google Scholar
  52. Roth, M. A., Millett, C. J., & Mindell, J. S. (2012). The contribution of active travel (walking and cycling) in children to overall physical activity levels: A national cross sectional study. Preventive Medicine, 54(2), 134–139.Google Scholar
  53. Sallis, J. F., Prochaska, J. J., & Taylor, W. C. (2000). A review of correlates of physical activity in children and adolescents. Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise, 32(5), 963–975.Google Scholar
  54. Sandt, D. R., & Frey, G. C. (2005). Comparison of physical activity levels between children with and without autistic spectrum disorders. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 22(2), 146–159.Google Scholar
  55. Schopler, E., Lansing, M., Reichler, R., & Marcus, L. (2005). Examiner’s manual of psychoeducational profile. Austin, TX: Pro-ed Incorporation.Google Scholar
  56. Sowa, M., & Meulenbroek, R. (2012). Effect of physical exercise on autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 46–57.Google Scholar
  57. Stone, M. R., Stevens, D., & Faulkner, G. E. J. (2013). Maintaining recommended sleep throughout the week is associated with increased physical activity in children. Preventive Medicine, 56(2), 112–117.Google Scholar
  58. Strutz, E., Browning, R., Smith, S., Lohse, B., & Cunningham-Sabo, L. (2018). Accelerometry-derived physical activity correlations between parents and their fourth-grade child are specific to time of day and activity level. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 15, 440–447.Google Scholar
  59. Tatsumi, Y., Mohri, I., Shimizu, S., Tachibana, M., Ohno, Y., & Taniike, M. (2014). Daytime physical activity and sleep in pre-schoolers with developmental disorders. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 51(4), 396–402.Google Scholar
  60. Taylor, M. A., Schreck, K. A., & Mulick, J. A. (2012). Sleep disruption as a correlate to cognitive and adaptive behavior problems in autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1408–1417.Google Scholar
  61. Timmons, B. W., LeBlanc, A. G., Carson, V., Connor Gorber, S., Dillman, C., Janssen, I., et al. (2012). Systematic review of physical activity and health in the early years (aged 0–4 years). Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 37(4), 773–792.Google Scholar
  62. Troiano, R. P., Berrigan, D., Dodd, K. W., Masse, L. C., Tilert, T., & McDowell, M. (2008). Physical activity in the United States measured by accelerometer. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(1), 181–188.Google Scholar
  63. Trost, S. G., McIver, K. L., & Pate, R. (2005). Conducting accelerometer-based activity assessments in field-based research. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(11), S531–S543.Google Scholar
  64. Trost, S. G., Pate, R. R., Sallis, J. F., Patty, S., Freedon, W. C., Dowda, M., et al. (2002). Age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity in youth. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(2), 350–355.Google Scholar
  65. von Elm, E., Altman, D. G., Egger, M., Pocock, S. J., Gotzsche, P. C., & Vandenbroucke, J. P. (2007). Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (STROBE) statement: Guidelines for reporting observational studies. PLOS Medicine, 4, e296.Google Scholar
  66. Wachob, D., & Lorenzi, D. G. (2015). Brief report: Influence of physical activity on sleep quality in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(8), 2641–2646.Google Scholar
  67. Wechsler, D. (2012). Wechsler preschool and primary scales of intelligence (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.Google Scholar
  68. World Health Organization. (2011). Global Recommendations on physical activity for health. World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  69. World Health Organization. (2019). Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age. World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Thomas
    • 1
  • T. Hinkley
    • 2
  • L. M. Barnett
    • 3
  • T. May
    • 1
  • N. Rinehart
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Deakin Child Study Centre, School of Psychology, Faculty of HealthDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition SciencesDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of HealthDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  4. 4.Deakin Child Study Centre, School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

Personalised recommendations