Preliminary studies suggest that martial arts participation may benefit children with Autism. Following on existing pilot studies, this investigation conceptualized mixed martial arts in terms of Applied Behavior Analysis and considered the impact of a mixed martial arts program designed for children with Autism on children's focus, attention, motor control, and social skills. This study followed two boys with Autism over the course of six weeks. Multiple behavioral observations, parent interviews, and instructor interview were conducted; Child Behavior Checklist and Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-2 were administered. One child, new to the program, evidenced dramatic gains in social skills, physical ability, respect, and overall attitude. A second child, participating in the program for more than a year, maintained previous gains in these same areas throughout the intervention. Results suggest that boys with Autism may benefit from participation in mixed martial arts training. Discussion considers advantages of martial arts over traditional behavior therapy for children with Autism, such as reduced cost, availability in most areas of the United States, and less stigmatization than a treatment setting.
|Advisor:||Cumella, Dr. Edward|
|Commitee:||Chung, Natasha, Tischner, Jessica|
|Department:||School of Arts and Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Kinesiology|
|Keywords:||Applied behavioral analysis, Autism, Behavioral therapy, Martial arts|
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