Cardiovascular Fitness Testing in Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder:
Three test can be used to evaluate cardiovascular fitness with accurate results and safety (according to the ACSM; https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3511&context=ijesab). These three fitness assessments that were utilized are:
- the Pacer Test,
- the Cooper 12 Minute Run Test,
- the Rockport One Mile Walk Test.
Also another test can be used:
- 20-meter multistage shuttle run
It is a tool to evaluate neuromuscular performance, biomechanics and power
- Ajax Shuttle Run
- Illinois Agility Test
Body Mass Index
A reliable way to determine whether a person has risk of being overweight and/or obese. I t is a very good gauge of their level of body fat
Body Fat %
Body fat percentage is a value that tells you how much of your body weight is made up of fat. In terms of your overall health, since high or extremely high levels of it have been linked to several health related issues such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular related problems, etc.
Jumping Ability (vertical)
Jumping tests are great full-body exercises that measure legs strength and involve the core, increase body awareness and also are indicators in their progression of neuromuscular control.
Standing long jump
Specifically, this type of assessment has been previously used in individuals with intellectual disabilities. Its purpose is to monitor the individual’s lower‐extremity explosive power and strength.
Flexibility Assessment: Sit and Reach Test
The Sit and Reach Test was used to assess the hamstring and lumbar extensibility (Australian College of Sport and Fitness, 2013) and has been previously used in individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Mobility (employment of the TUG test)
The Timed Up and Go test (TUG) is a simple test used to assess a person’s mobility and requires both static and dynamic balance. It is performed as follows: a person takes to rise from a chair, walk three meters, turn around, walk back to the chair, and sit down; the time needed is measured with a stop watch. The test. This procedure has been suggested to be reliable for individuals with intellectual disability
The aim of the sit up test is to measure the number of sit ups with a specific pattern in 30’’. Every sit‐up starts with the back on the floor. This assessment is used to examine the development of the individual’s abdominal muscular strength and endurance.
Medicine Ball throws
The specific activity, that uses medicine balls of various weight based on the ability of each individual and also as a measure of training adaptation and progression, requires the ability to control the amount of force generated, involves neuromuscular control of the whole body, and can target at various distances and heights from the individual.
Upper-body muscular strength Handgrip strength assessment.
Handgrip strength is a valid and reliable measure of upper-body muscular strength in typically developing children ages of 6–12 years.
Soccer Specific Tests: A variety of actions including Dribbling in slalom, Dribbling in Change of Direction, Passing between obstacles, Combinations of those with the implementation of visual and auditory information
This testing procedures are aiming to examine the progression of these individuals in performing soccer related drills that implement all several aspects of fitness such a speed, endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capabilities, neuromuscular coordination and control, balance, agility, and also involves interaction with the environment and multitasking. The progression in each of the chosen procedures is recorder and the progress of the individuals is evaluated and accordingly intervention and/or corrective measures are taken. Please note that some individuals with ASD should start firstly by learning new, simple motor skills via either a procedural or an implicit manner. Therefore, it should be again mentioned that also the form of this soccer specific skill evaluation is adjusted to the needs of each individual.
Dr Nikolaos E Koundourakis, MSc, PhD
Soccer for Autism Team