The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the feasibility of a fundamental motor skills (FMS) intervention with two groups on the acquisition of FMS of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We randomly assigned families (n = 15) of children with ASD aged 4–11 years into two groups (a workshop or a home-based group) focused on FMS development. Both groups participated in a 10-week intervention and were given the same instructional manual and adapted physical activity equipment. The workshop group also attended four in-person workshops targeting the needs of children with ASD and their parents. Children were tested on their FMS using the third edition of the Test of Gross Motor Development at the start and end of the intervention and then three months following the intervention. The recruitment rate was 50%, and the retention rate was 80% for all participants. The intervention for groups was safe and accepted by the participants as evaluated by post-program interviews. The outcomes of this pilot study suggest that parents can facilitate the acquisition of FMS of their children with ASD. Although these results are positive, there is a need to further identify effective interventions for FMS development in children with ASD.


  • Researchers have indicated that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to exhibit delays in their fundamental motor skills (FMS) [2,3]

  • Two families who were allocated to the workshop group and three families from the home group dropped out of the study for unknown reasons before the intervention

  • The results demonstrated that parents can be an integral part of the acquisition of FMS for their children with ASD

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Researchers have indicated that children with ASD tend to exhibit delays in their fundamental motor skills (FMS) [2,3]. Fundamental motor skills (FMS) are considered building blocks for more complex context-specific skills, such as fielding ground balls, golf drives, and hockey slap shots. FMS, commonly divided into object control (or often referred to as ball skills, e.g., striking, catching, overhand throwing) and locomotor skills (e.g., running, sliding, hopping), do not develop naturally and require additional time and practice [4]. FMS delays are so common in children with ASD that they are often considered a cardinal feature of ASD [5]. In addition to practice, children need specific extrinsic feedback to effectively develop and improve the performance of these skills [6]. Certain groups of children, including those with ASD, tend to have minimal opportunities to practice

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