The Effects of Physical Activity on the On-Task Behavior of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders



The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of adult-directed physical activities conducted during circle time on the on-task behavior of students during a journal-writing activity held immediately after circle.  The participants of the study were three male students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who attended a full day inclusive kindergarten program.  During the last five minutes of morning circle the entire class, including the target participants, engaged in one of three activities that required different amounts of physical exertion (yoga, dance party, or book reading) that were selected randomly by the teacher.  On-task behavior data was collected for each participant during the first five minutes of the subsequent journal writing activity.  Results found that, in general, movement (yoga and dance party) prior to journal led to higher levels of on-task behavior during journal writing, with different activities yielding different outcomes for individual participants.  Implications are that students with ASD would benefit from participating in multiple bouts of planned physical activity across the instructional day.  


Physical activity, On-task behavior, Autism

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic Special Education
Pages 405 - 418
Issue IEJEE, Volume 9, Issue 2, Special Issue: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Approaches to Training, Teaching, and Treatment
Date of acceptance 01 November 2016
Read (times) 391
Downloaded (times) 182

Author(s) Details


University of Washington, United States


University of Washington, United States


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