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Kata Techniques Training Consistently Decreases Stereotypy in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Saturday, 4 May 2013: 09:00-13:00
Banquet Hall (Kursaal Centre)
F. Bahrami, A. Movahedi, M. Marandi and A. Abedi, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
Background: Stereotypy is one of three core diagnostic features of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of 14 weeks of Kata techniques on stereotypic behaviors of children with ASD.

Methods: The study included 30 eligible (diagnosed ASD, school age) children with ages ranging from 5 to 16 years whom they assigned to an exercise (n=15) or a no-exercise control group (n=15). Participants of the exercise group received Kata techniques instruction four times per week for 14 weeks (56 sessions). We used the stereotypy subscale of Gilliam Autism Rating Scale- Second Edition (GARS-2) to assess stereotypy severity at baseline (pre-intervention), week 14 (post-intervention), and at one month follow up in both groups.

Results: Kata techniques significantly reduced stereotypy severity in the exercise group. Following participation in Kata techniques training, stereotypy decreased from baseline levels by a M of 42.54% across participants. After 30 days of no practice, stereotypy in the exercise group remained significantly decreased compared to pre-intervention time. The participants of the control group did not show significant changes in the stereotypy severity.

Conclusions: The findings of the present investigation indicate that teaching Kata techniques to children with ASD for a long period of time consistently decreases their stereotypic behaviors.

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