Online training for physical activity practitioners on evidence-based practices for clients with autism
Autism, Evidence-based practice, Online learning, Physical activity
Advances in Autism
Purpose: Physical activity professionals often lack the experience and knowledge to implement the pedagogical and behavioral strategies required to successfully work with people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To enable individuals with ASD to achieve the benefits of exercise, physical activity professionals must be knowledgeable and skilled in relation to delivering evidence-based practices (EBP). The recent worldwide coronavirus disease pandemic highlights the value and necessity of effective online learning. Recent research has suggested that online settings are a viable setting for professional learning. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess an online course’s impact on physical activity professionals’ frequency of use and self-efficacy toward using EBPs with individuals with ASD. Design/methodology/approach: The online program was developed to provide training for a wide-range of professionals interested in working with people with ASD. A survey was administered to participants prior to and after completion of the online course to collect data on sample demographics, and the participants’ perceived frequency and self‐efficacy in using EBPs. Eighty-six physical activity professionals participated in the study. Findings: Overall, their self-efficacy toward EBPs and frequency at which participants reported to use EBPs increased significantly from pretest to posttest (p < 0.05). The participants also reported using three of the nine covered EBPs more frequently at post-course completion. In addition, participants’ self-efficacy toward eight of the EBPs was significantly higher post-intervention. Originality/value: Findings from this study suggests that a well-structured online intervention has promise for preparing physical activity professionals to work with people with ASD.
Department of Kinesiology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
McNamara, Scott; Bittner, Melissa; and Healy, Sean, "Online training for physical activity practitioners on evidence-based practices for clients with autism" (2021). Faculty Publications. 16.