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. Rinehart

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6 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3278-3289
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


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

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