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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 1825046, 13 pages
Clinical Study

The Effects of Structured Physical Activity Program on Social Interaction and Communication for Children with Autism

1School of Sports Media and Information Technology, Shandong Sports University, Shandong, China
2Department of Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, Texarkana, TX, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Shihui Chen; ude.tumat@nehcs

Received 26 August 2017; Revised 16 November 2017; Accepted 29 November 2017; Published 15 January 2018

Academic Editor: Haichun Sun

Copyright © 2018 Mengxian Zhao and Shihui Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of structured physical activity program on social interaction and communication of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Fifty children with ASD from a special school were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. 25 children with ASD were placed in the experimental group, and the other 25 children as the control group participated in regular physical activity. A total of forty-one participants completed the study. A 12-week structured physical activity program was implemented with a total of 24 exercise sessions targeting social interaction and communication of children with ASD, and a quasi-experimental design was used for this study. Data were collected using quantitative and qualitative instruments. SSIS and ABLLS-R results showed that an overall improvement in social skills and social interaction for the experimental group across interim and posttests, , (), and significant improvements appeared in communication, cooperation, social interaction, and self-control subdomains (). Conversely, no statistically significant differences were found in the control group (). The study concluded that the special structured physical activity program positively influenced social interaction and communication skills of children with ASD, especially in social skills, communication, prompt response, and frequency of expression.