Date of Publication

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Douglas H. Collier, Associate Professor, Kinesiology, Sports Studies, and Physical Education

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the potential benefits physical activity, specifically aquatic based programs, could provide in minimizing problem behaviors that are common with certain disabilities or behavior disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were the two disabilities examined, as these are becoming more commonly diagnosed in our society. A literature review was completed examining the effects aquatics programs and physical activity in general could provide to typical problem behaviors, such as trouble with social interaction, self-stimulatory behaviors, attention, and communication. The aim of the program and how the program was administered, the qualifications and backgrounds of the instructors, and the size of groups in the programs were all factors considered when examining the successes of the programs in minimizing problem behaviors. Results showed the clear benefits of creating a legitimate and quality movement program, particularly an aquatics program, for children with ASD and ADHD to help minimize problematic behaviors and improve social behaviors. Proper structure along with designing the program to specifically benefit the previously stated populations were key factors in creating more success for the children.

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