The Effect of Selected Exercise Group on Motor Skills and Cognitive Functions in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Motor Behavior, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Sepehr Heart center of Baharloo hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Shariatee hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Introduction: The present study aimed to determine the effects of a selected group exercise on motor skills and cognitive function in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).
Methods: Forty children with ASD aged 5-12 years participated in this quasi-experimental study. The Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP), and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were performed in 3 assessment stages of baseline, pretest, and posttest in Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK). The repeated-measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) were used for analyzing the collected data.
Results: The current research results demonstrated that the selected exercises presented positive effects on motor skills (P<0.05) in the studied subjects; however, they indicated no significant effects on their cognitive function (P>0.05).
Conclusion: According to the present study results, the SPARK’s training is effective on children with ASDs and severe mobility limitations; however, it presented no cognitive function improvement in the study participants.