The effect of 16 weeks gymnastic training on social skills and neuropsychiatric functions of autistic children
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of 16 weeks of gymnastic exercises on motor and neuropsychological skills of children with autism. The statistical population consisted of autistic children in a charity center in Karaj. Thirty autistic children 8‒12 years of age, who were eligible to be included in the study, were randomly selected and assigned to two test and control groups. To evaluate motor development, the short form of Bruininks–Oseretsky test and to evaluate neuropsychological characteristics, Conners scales were used. The test group carried out gymnastic exercises for 16 weeks (three sessions a week, with each session lasting for 45 min); the control group subjects were engaged in their daily activities during the period. Two-way ANOVA was used to compare the two groups. There was a significant difference in the total motor skill scores between the two groups (P < 0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the two groups in subscales such as the speed of running and agility, strength and the speed of reaction/response between the two groups (P > 0.05). On the other hand, all the neuropsychological characteristics improved except for language performance. It can be concluded from the results of the present study that gymnastic exercises might have an effective role in improving motor and neuropsychological skills of children with autism.
KeywordsAutism Gymnastic Motor development Neuropsychological characteristics
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have financial or other conflicts of interest in regards to this research.
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standard of the Tehran University and, all the experimental protocols were approved by the Ethic Committee of Tehran University.
Informed consent was obtained from all parents that their children participated in this study, and they have free to continue the protocol.
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