How do physical activity and sedentary behaviour affect motor competence in children with autism spectrum disorder compared to typically developing children: a pilot study

S. Thomas, L. M. Barnett, N. Papadopoulos, N. Lander, J. McGillivray, N. Rinehart

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Older children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have high levels of motor impairment, however we are unsure if similar patterns exist in young children. This study aimed to investigate motor competence in four-to-seven-year-old children with (n = 17) and without (n = 17) ASD. A series of ANOVAS indicated children with ASD performed significantly poorer on all measures of motor competence, except MABC-2 manual dexterity and ball skills subscales. Results indicate that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) may influence motor competence, regardless of diagnosis. Establishing appropriate levels of engagement in moderate-to-vigorous PA and SB during early school years is important for the development of all children and may be an important early intervention avenue for motor impairment in children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3443-3455
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Accelerometry
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Motor Competence
  • Motor Impairment
  • Physical Activity
  • Sedentary Behaviour

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