Abstract

Executive function (EF) and motor deficits have consistently been documented in studies of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated the effects of a pilot 30-session Makoto arena training intervention, a light and sound speed-based exergame, on response speed, EF, and motor skills in school-aged children with ASD. Strong correlations were seen between certain EF and motor scores, suggesting a relationship between the two constructs. Participants increased their average reaction speed (effect size = 1.18). Significant improvement was seen in the EF areas of working memory and metacognition and the motor area of strength and agility. Findings suggest that use of exergaming, specifically the Makoto arena, has the potential to be a valuable addition to standard intervention for children with ASD who have motor and EF impairments.

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