To maximize health and wellness, children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can greatly benefit from daily physical activity. However, some children do not readily engage in physical activity. Therefore, it is important to identify methods for increasing physical activity among children with ASD. We are currently conducting two studies related to this goal. 

Study 1 involves using heart rate measures to identify appropriate forms of physical activity to target during treatment.

Study 2 involves a treatment for increasing exercise that includes the following components alone or in combination:

  • prompting,
  • non-contingent reinforcement (NCR), and
  • differential reinforcement.

Additionally, a preference assessment of physical activities will be conducted before and after treatment to determine whether participants select one activity over another and if their selections remain consistent following treatment. The expected benefit of these studies is that appropriate forms of exercise can be identified and their levels of activity engagement increased to meet their individual fitness goals.