Lockard B S, Dallara M, O’Malley C (July 07, 2023) A Short Report on the Impact of Judo on Behaviors and Social Skills of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Cureus 15(7): e41516. DOI 10.7759/cureus.41516
Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by communication difficulty and social deficits. The current treatment employs the use of psychosocial therapy and medication as well as alternative treatments. This is a pilot study that assessed whether participation in judo improved behavior and social skills in children with ASD.
Methods: Twenty-four students from the Riverside Youth Judo Club were included in the study, after obtaining consent from their parents to participate. Inclusion criteria included participation in judo classes for more than one month and diagnosis of ASD and/or a developmental disability. Parent(s) of the children signed a consent form, filled out a study questionnaire and completed the Social Skills Improvement System Social-Emotional Learning Edition, Parent Form (SSIS-SEL). Parents also had the opportunity to volunteer their child’s baseline SSIS-SEL assessment. SSIS-SEL data was taken for four participants and compared to the baseline.
Results: In the study questionnaire, 62.5% of parents agreed that their children demonstrated improvement across all six categories. The category with the greatest improvement was ‘Behavior at home’, while the category with the least improvement was ‘Eye contact’.
Conclusion: While the direct impact of judo on special needs children was difficult to assess due to variability in abilities and developmental milestones, we hope that improving awareness regarding the effectiveness of youth sports would impact the long-term quality of life for children with any developmental or mental disability and may help improve their social and behavioral skills in multiple environments.
Categories: Pediatrics, Psychology
Keywords: quality of life, development, behavorial therapy, social behavior, empathy and social cognition, language and communication, judo, autism spectrum disorder (asd)
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