While minimal federal guidelines suggest that all children should meet at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, few children achieve this. Children with autism may participate in even less activity than their peers.
Students from the Department of Kinesiology are involved in a pilot research project focusing on the assessment of physical activity in children with autism. A research team of undergraduate students collected objective measures of physical activity from both children with autism and their typically developing peers. Students distributed triaxial accelerometers to participants, which measure physical activity. The group evaluated each child’s physical activity, body mass index and symptom expressions.
Lindsay Heck ’17 (in the spotlight), Michaela Braun ’17, Ashley Long ’18, Macey Walker ’17 and Delia Thompson ’17 all presented their work this year at Ignatian Scholar Day.
The project was completed in coordination with Karl Kozlowski, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology, and the Institute for Autism Research (IAR). Students will continue their research this summer by introducing an exercise program to children with autism who attend the IAR summerMAX program.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, PhD, associate vice president, academic affairs