Evaggelia-Anna Marouli, Vasiliki Kaioglou, Vasilios Karfis, Antonios Kambas, Maria Koutsouba, Fotini Venetsanou


It is usual for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to demonstrate deficits in motor behavior. Participation in movement programs has been suggested to elicit improvements in their motor competence (MC) level. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a Greek traditional dance (GTD) program on the MC of 6-14-year-old children with ASD. The study design included eight participants (two girls, six boys), who were randomly allocated into two equal-sized groups, group A (its members participated only in the regular Physical Education lessons provided by their school) and group B (its members additionally followed an 8-week GTD program of two 40-min sessions per week). Children’s MC was assessed prior and immediately after the completion of the GTD program by the Bruininks- Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2 SF). Due to study’s small sample size and participants’ heterogenous ASD characteristics, the results will be interpreted as outcomes of multiple single case studies. Overall, it was observed that the MC of all participants was considerably poor; however, members of group B made greater improvements in both the total BOT-2 point score and most item raw scores compared to those of group A, with balance and body coordination skills presenting the greater improvements. Even though the results of this study stress the positive effect of GTD on the MC of children with ASD, future studies employing wider sample sizes and/or implementing longer programs are required to further confirm its merit.

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