Parents’ perspectives of the secondary effects of an early motor skill intervention for their four year-old children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Elliott, Leanne K.
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This qualitative study was grounded in interpretive phenomenology to elicit rich descriptions of parents’ (N=8) experiences with an early motor skill intervention for their four year-old children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The results of this study suggest that motor skill interventions have several child and parent-level benefits. Key child-level benefits include improvements with: motor skills, social skills, listening skills, turn-taking skills, and transition skills. Key parent-level benefits include: observing their children succeed, learning strategies to address challenging behaviours, developing a greater appreciation for the motor domain as an important part of child development, and meeting other children with ASD as well as their parents. Parents also described how these child and parent-level benefits extended to their family unit; ultimately reducing parental stress and improving family quality of life. These findings indicate that early motor skill interventions have several meaningful secondary effects that can benefit families of children with ASD.