The current paper is a comparison of two papers articles that talk about the enhancement of the physical activities among children with autism. People with autism, specifically children, face many challenges as they try to be active just like the other normal children. It is, therefore, important for various professional and parents to come up with measures that they will use to make sure that such children enjoy their childhood like the children that do not have autism. The first article was written by Cai et al. (2020), and the second article was written by Pokorski et al., (2019). I chose autism after studying how it is affecting the children in society; hence I was determined to find ways in which the children with autism can be helped so that they live a normal life.
Cai et al., (2020) give the background information where they cite the statistics that were given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) in the United States of America that the cases of Autism Spectrum Disorder are on the rise in the United States of America. They note that the increase in the prevalence of the disease poses a major public health challenge to the government of the United States of America. The authors have addressed the use of physical exercise as a way of treating the causes of autism among people in society. The authors specifically addressed the use of a basketball training program as a way of improving physical activities among the people living with ASD. Pokorski et al. (2019), on the other hand, argue that antecedent-based interventions have consistently produced therapeutic changes among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among people of different ages. According to the author, the intervention involves the manipulation of the immediate context or stimuli and may include the use of specific activities. The author addresses the use of sensory-based interventions (SBI). According to the authors, the SBI is used in the improvement of the functioning of the individuals representing the differences in response to the environmental stimuli.
The research questions on the paper by Cai et al. (2020) answered several research questions, which included: What is the role of physical activities in improving the lives of the people living with ASD? What is the role of basketball training in making sure that people with ASD get enough physical activities that are important in their lives? Is the Mini-Mini Basketball Training Program helpful to the people living with ASD? Pokorski et al. (2019), on the other, answered various research questions such as: What is the effect of wearing headphones -on the level of engagement, vocal stereotypy, and motor stereotypy in a young child with ASD. The other research question was: what is the role of provision of three structured antecedent activities (gross motor activities, sensory-based interventions, and seated work) on the level of the vocal stereotypy, level of engagement, and the motor stereotypy among the young children with ASD.
The chief participant in the research conducted by Pokorski et al., (2019) was Max, who was a 54-year-old male diagnosed with ASD. Cai et al. (2020), on the other hand, recruited ninety-four children aged 3-6. They excluded 35 participants because they did not meet the inclusion criteria. Only thirty participants were able to complete the study.
Cai et al. (2020) used a quasi-experimental design. The eligible children were divided into two groups, namely the Mini-Mini Basketball Training Program and the control group. The demographics of each child were recorded prior to the experiment. A workshop was held to introduce the MBTB among children with autism. The study was done in three phases. The participants in the MBTP group underwent a scheduled mini-basketball training program. On the other hand, the research by Pokorski et al. (2019) only made use of one participant, and they used two alternating treatment designs in making comparisons in engagement, vocal stereotypy, and motor stereotypy across the conditions. The First ATD compared headphones versus no headphones. The second was used in the comparison of three structured antecedent activities, which include gross motor activities, SBI, and seated work.
In the research conducted by Pokorski et al., (2019), the results indicated that the sensory-based interventions do not lead to higher levels of engagement or a decrease in the motor or vocal stereotypy when comparisons are made with the typical classroom conditions or structural physical activities. In the study by Cai et al. (2020), the results revealed that the 12-week MBTP helped facilitate performance in the physical fitness test, particularly muscular strength abilities and speed-agility activities.
Cai et al. (2020) argued in the discussion that the 12-week MBTP was helpful among the people with ASD; hence it is supposed to be used in the society. It will help the people with the condition to lead normal lives despite the challenges that they are facing. Pokorski et al. (2019) argued that the fact that the sensory-based interventions were not useful in increasing the levels of engagement, it is important to look for the alternatives that will be useful in the society. Cai et al. (2020) concluded that MBTP could be used as therapy for children with ASD. On the other hand, concluded that the sensory-based interventions do not lead to higher levels of engagement or a decrease in the motor or vocal stereotypy when comparisons are made with the typical classroom conditions or structural physical activities; hence they cannot be used for therapy.
The limitation of the study by Pokorski et al. (2019) is that the author used one chief participant. Increasing the sample size would help compare the results. Cai et al. (2020) also had a relatively smaller sample size.
Cai, K. L., Wang, J. G., Liu, Z. M., Zhu, L. N., Xiong, X., Klich, S., … & Chen, A. G. (2020). Mini-Basketball Training Program Improves Physical Fitness and Social Communication in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Human Kinetics, 73(1), 267-278.
Pokorski, E. A., Barton, E. E., Ledford, J. R., Taylor, A. L., Johnson, E., & Winters, H. K. (2019). Comparison of antecedent activities for increasing engagement in a preschool child with ASD during a small group activity. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 54(1), 94-103.