Autism Spectrum Disorders and Motor Skills by Prof. Dr. Dilara Özer (İstanbul Gedik Üniversitesi)
Research shows that children with ASD show significant deficiencies in basic movement skills (THB) such as running, jumping and ball skills according to their age and these deficiencies increase in parallel with the increase in chronological age in addition to social, communication and behavioral difficulties (Liu and Breslin, 2013; Lloyd, MacDonald and Lord, 2013).
These findings led us to prepare a project that will provide knowledge and skills about Autism Spectrum Disorders and Motor Skills for preservice child development specialist, preschool teachers and physical education teachers. The project, which was applied in March 2019, was accepted by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey in May 2019 and implemented on 25-28 June 2019 at Istanbul Gedik University Inclusive Physical Activity Center. Project which thirty students from fourteen Turkish universities attended consisted of a 30 hours course program in the field of special education, nutrition and adapted physical activity. The courses, which lasted for four days, were taught by 10 lecturers who are experts in their fields. In addition to the theoretical courses, the project included workshops with physical education teachers and families with children with autism and hands-on lessons that offer teaching experience to children with ASD. Many of the participants were informed about the autism realized the importance of motor skills and made contact with children with ASD for the first time. The project was effective in terms of creating interest and motivation for participants in teaching motor skills to children with ASD.