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Parents’ Perspectives on Appropriate Sports Programs For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Melissa G. F. Alexander
Montclair State University
Robert C. Leather
Montclair State University

Abstract

Fifty-four parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were surveyed to determine the desired (a) characteristics of the sport’s program (b) primary focus of the sport’s program, (c) coach qualifications, (d) and coach/child ratios. Findings included a preference for programs to be offered 2-6 hours a week, smaller groups with small coach to child ratios, a focus on social skill development as well as fitness and motor skill development, and a Unified® sports type model. Parents suggested minimum coach qualifications be needed though when qualifications were required they focused more on disability experience than on sport knowledge.

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