2. Youngstown State University, USA.
3. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Individuals with autism experience the core symptoms of delays in communication, delays in social skills, and the engagement in repetitive and restrictive patterns of behavior. Physical exercise has shown the ability to positively impact the core symptoms of autism. Specifically, research has demonstrated the ability to reduce stereotypic behaviors in individuals with autism. The current investigation used the Hierarchical Linear Model, an enhanced type of meta-analysis, to analyze data retrieved fromsinglesubject research design studies to identify possible moderators that increase the effectiveness of the physical exercise intervention on individuals with autism that display stereotypic behaviors. This research assessed three key areas: if different types of stereotypic behaviors responded differently to physical exercise, if different types of physical exercise are more effective in reducing stereotypic behaviors, and if different durations of exercise sessions are more effective in reducing stereotypic behaviors. The results of the current study demonstrated that type of physical exercise is a significant moderator and that types of stereotypic behaviors and duration of exercise sessions are not significant moderators to the effectiveness of physical exercise on reducing stereotypic behaviors in autism.
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intervention, Stereotypic Behaviors, Physical Exercise, Hierarchical Linear Model