Effectiveness of an At-home Based Physical Activity Intervention for Families who have Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Alyssa Gutierrez


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an at-home based activity intervention for a family who has a child with an intellectual disability. Determining factors of the family’s adherence to the program were also considered in the project. Literature suggests that involving families enhances adherence to a new exercise program. The authors anticipated that home based intervention would 1)improve adherence to an exercise program 2)improve scores on a gross motor assessment instrument and 3)improve raw scores on four different motor skills in which the subject showed deficit on in the pre-assessment. The study was conducted as a pilot involving one family. The family was educated and trained on the importance of regular physical activity and how to modify each activity for their child. Measures of efficacy include activity adherence (self-report) and pre/post motor skill performance on the Test of Gross Motor Development-21. The intervention was designed as a home-based activity program focused on four areas of motor skill deficit. Results indicated that the subject’s raw scores on dribbling, kicking, throwing, and leaping improved; scores on the overall gross motor quotient improved; but only adhered to the program 40% of the time while the investigators were not present. This could be because the subject attended a two week camp midway through the investigation. Based upon the pilot data, it appears that a home-based intervention may be an effective choice for increasing motor skill abilities, but further investigation is needed to determine what specific factors may increase adherence.


Physical Activity, Intellectual Disability, Family

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