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Is visuomotor training an effective intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders?

Authors Arabi M, Saberi Kakhki A, Sohrabi M, Soltani Kouhbanani S, Jabbari Nooghabi M

Received 8 May 2019

Accepted for publication 3 August 2019

Published 8 November 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3089—3102


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Manizheh Arabi,1 Alireza Saberi Kakhki,1 Mehdi Sohrabi,1 Sakineh Soltani Kouhbanani,2 Mehdi Jabbari Nooghabi3

1Department of Motor Behavior, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran; 2Department of Educational Sciences, Educational Sciences and Psychology Faculty, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran; 3Department of Statistics, Faculty of Mathematical Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

Correspondence: Alireza Saberi Kakhki
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Tel +98 051 3880 5418
Fax +98 051 3880 7381

Purpose: Investigation of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is somewhat dependent on addressing main core features of ASD. But it is not clear which kind of investigation can effect on more difficulties features. So, this study examines the effect of the visuomotor, motor, and computer-based training programs on social behavior, motor skills, and repetitive behaviors of children with ASD.
Patients and methods: Sixty children with ASD aged 6–12 years were recruited and assigned to one of the three experimental groups and the control group (each group n=15). Training was provided in 30 sessions, scheduled 3 times a week. Social behavior and repetitive behaviors were determined objectively using the observation method, and motor skills were evaluated by the Test of Gross Motor Development-2.
Results: Our results suggested that children in the visuomotor group showed a significant reduction in the repetitive behaviors and an increase in gross motor skill scores in the post-test and follow-up. Also, the results exhibited that motor training group significantly improved in social behavior either in the post-test or follow-up. Although the post-test illustrated a considerable improvement of gross motor skills, this difference was not significant in follow-up. Similarly, no significant change was observed in visual training and control groups in relation to study variables.
Conclusion: Given the improvement of repetitive behaviors and gross motor skills in post-test and follow-up, it seems that this investigation had a positive effect with a good retention effect on two core features of children with ASD. But according to group-based training protocol in motor training group and improvement in social communication, and mutual effect on gross motor skills, it seems that group-based practice can also be used to achieve the benefits of social communication in the investigations.

Keywords: autism disorder, social behavior, repetitive behaviors, gross motor skills

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