Effects of Water Exercise Swimming Program on Aquatic Skills and Social Behaviors in Children With Autism Spectrum DisordersBy Pan, Chien-Yu; Autism, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 9-28
Publication Date: January 2010
Study examined the effectiveness of a 10 week water exercise swimming program (WESP) on the aquatic skills and social behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The WESP design was developed according to the foundations of the Malliwick Method, which utilizes the natural progression of the way humans acquire physical movements. Structured teaching was also utilized, including organization of the physical environment, such as clear boundary markings and visual schedules and work systems including a board with pictures and words to describe WESP activities. Participants were 16 boys aged 5 to 9 years with ASD who were divided into two groups. In the first 10 weeks, Group A received the WESP while Group B did not. A second 10 week phase immediately followed, with the treatments reversed. Both groups continued their regular treatment/activity throughout the study. Improvements were seen in aquatic skills for both groups subsequent to the WESP. Following the initial phase, significant social improvements were seen in Group A. Following the second phase, social improvements were seen for Group B, whereas Group A merely maintained the improvements they attained through the implementation of the WESP during the initial phase. The authors conclude that the WESP improved aquatic skills in the participants and holds potential for social improvements.
Published by: Sage Publications (Website:http://www.sagepub.com)
Link to text: http://aut.sagepub.com/content/14/1/9.abstract