Influence of a specific aquatic adapted physical activity in a child with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A case study

Gianna Agro', Antonio Palma, Giuseppe Battaglia, Marianna Alesi, Giuseppe Battaglia, Antonio Palma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aquatic environment offers an exciting and motivating place for children and aquatic exercise programs provide an appropriate setting for early educational interventions in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a specific Multi-systemic Aquatic Therapy (CI-MAT) on gross motor and adaptive skills in a child with ASD. The study was divided into three phases: baseline, 12-week CI-MAT program and Post-Test. Child was administered a battery of tests incorporating anthropometric measurements, gross motor development test (TGM test), Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) and Psychoeducational Profile (PEP-3) before and after a 12-week CI-MAT program. The child improved locomotor and object control skills after CI-MAT program. Concerning social behaviors, the higher proportion of gains was observed in the sensitivity of other’s presence and eye contact for the contact domain and in the comply turn for the domain relationship. Furthermore, after the CI-MAT program period, the child showed improvements in his social behaviors. The results of this study showed that CI-MAT program was effective for the development of gross-motor and social skills in a child with ASD. Moreover, there is an urge to carry out a whole psychological assessment targeting both motor and adaptive development suitable to provide educational and vocational plans of exercises for people with ASD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-172
Number of pages18
JournalLife Span and Disability
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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