In children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is Functional Strength Training effective in improving lower extremity muscle strength and mobility?
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- Answered 9 Aug 2019 Conflict of interest declaration: None I was unable to find any research that explored the specific interventions and outcomes. But I found some closely related evidence (related outcomes and/or interventions) that might be of interest. However, they both report on the need for further research! The 2016 SIGN guideline “Assessment, diagnosis and interventions for autism spectrum disorders”  has a section of key questions where there was insufficient evidence identified. One of those questions was: “RCTs for physical exercise interventions in ASD.” Within the guideline it reported “Meta-analysis of small trials of various physical activities concluded that exercise for individuals with ASD may be beneficial for improving motor skills and social interaction. Further, larger, more rigorous trials are needed to support the findings.” The more recent (2018) paper “The effect of physical activity interventions on youth with autism spectrum disorder: A meta-analysis.” [2, available as full-text] reports: “Youth with ASD are demonstrated to have lower muscular strength and endurance that their TD counterparts (Pan, 2014; Tyler, MacDonald, & Menear, 2014). It was significant, therefore, that within the outcome of muscular strength and endurance, experimental groups outperformed control groups to a large effect (g 5 0.818).” “The research in this area highlights some challenges....and areas in need for future study Future research should seek to identify the dosage required for significant, sustained improvement in muscular strength and endurance. Furthermore, Fragala-Pinkham et al. (2008) makes reference to the challenges of motivating the participants to increase resistance. Future research should clearly define instructional and motivation methods use for the benefit of practitioners and other researchers” References 1) https://www.sign.ac.uk/assets/sign145.pdf 2) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/aur.1955
- Answered 12 Aug 2019 Conflict of interest declaration: None There is very sparse evidence and nothing recent on strength training to improve muscle strength and mobility in Autistic children. However the following recent articles may be of interest: A Case Report Illustrating the Implementation of a Therapeutic Surfing Intervention for an Adolescent with Autism. Author(s): Clapham, Emily D.; Minsuk Shim; Lamont, Linda S.; Armitano, Cortney Source: Palaestra; Jun 2018; vol. 32 (no. 2); p. 49-53 Publication Date: Jun 2018 Publication Type(s): Academic Journal Available at Palaestra - from ProQuest (Health Research Premium) - NHS Version Database: CINAHL Relationships between Physical Fitness and Motor Skill Performance in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder...2016 North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM) Biennial Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee. Author(s): Mahon, A. D.; Dieringer, S.; McIntosh, C. E.; Dykstra, B. J.; Erichsen, J. M.; McIntosh, D. E. Source: Pediatric Exercise Science; Nov 2016; vol. 28 ; p. 44-44 Publication Date: Nov 2016 Publication Type(s): Academic Journal Database: CINAHL Lower extremity joint stiffness during walking distinguishes children with and without autism. Author(s): Eggleston, Jeffrey D.; Harry, John R.; Dufek, Janet S. Source: Human Movement Science; Dec 2018; vol. 62 ; p. 25-33 Publication Date: Dec 2018 Publication Type(s): Academic Journal PubMedID: 30218847 Database: CINAHL Weighted Walking Influences Lower Extremity Coordination in Children on the Autism Spectrum. Author(s): Eggleston, Jeffrey D.; Landers, Merrill R.; Bates, Barry T.; Nagelhout, Ed; Dufek, Janet S. Source: Perceptual & Motor Skills; Dec 2018; vol. 125 (no. 6); p. 1103-1122 Publication Date: Dec 2018 Publication Type(s): Academic Journal Database: CINAHL