Childhood autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with communication and behaviors. The benefit of physical exercise on behavioral and cognitive functions have been widely recognized. This article aims to explore the effects of exercise intervention on ameliorating symptoms of childhood autism with a meta-analytical approach. The results included five research papers comprising of a total of 282 research subjects aged 3~18-year-old. A random effect model was adopted to test the combined effect size. For children with moderate autism symptoms, the results were: heterogeneity test of Q=94.60, df=11, p<0.05, I2=83.4%, combined effect size of SMD = -1.36, 95% CI (-1.76, -1.12), and Z=6.45. For Children with severe autism symptoms, the results were: heterogeneity test of Q=1.57, df=3, p>0.05, I2=0.1%, combined effect size of SMD = -0.49, 95% CI (-0.5, -0.19), and Z=3.35. The results revealed an overall medium effect, supporting that exercise can significantly ameliorate the symptoms of severe autism in children, especially among those with moderate-level symptoms. However, the effect of exercise on severe autism was on a marginal-to-acceptable level. Further studies were needed to separately analyze the effectiveness of physical exercise on providing benefits for different levels of autism symptoms.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||European Journal of Scientific Research|
|Publication status||Published - May 2021|
- Autistic Children
- Controlled Trial