Autism and social skills: the role of sport games

Author/s Ivana Matteucci
Publishing Year 2020 Issue 2020/121 Language Italian
Pages 17 P. 73-89 File size 230 KB
DOI 10.3280/SR2020-121004
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of a physical activity program structured as a sports game on social interaction and communication of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (Asd), in particular Asperger Syndrome (AS). The results of the quantitative survey showed a general improvement in social skills, in particular relating to social interaction and communication, in the experimental group in interim and post-intervention tests. These results were confirmed by the qualitative survey where, based on the parents' perceptions, the interactive skills related to the acceptance of the others, eye contact, cooperative play, involvement and interaction, and social skills related to both receptive communication (attention and understanding) and expressive communication (prompt response, self-expression), had increased. On the contrary, no statistically significant difference was found in the control group. The study concluded that the special structured physical activity program positively influenced the social interaction and communication skills of adolescents with Asd.

  1. American Psychiatric Association (2013), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, Washington (DC),
  2. F. Anastasi (2017), Prospettive sociologiche nei disturbi dello spettro autistico, Ariccia (RM), Aracne.
  3. G. Bateson (1996), Questo è un gioco. Perché non si può dire mai a qualcuno «gioca», Milano Raffaello Cortina.
  4. G. Baird, E. Simonoff, A. Pickles, S. Chandler, T. Loucas, D. Meldrum, T. Charman (2006), «Prevalence of Disorders of the Autism Spectrum in a Population Cohort of Children in South Thames: The Special Needs and Autism Project (Snap)», Lancet, 368, 9531, pp. 210-5, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69041-7
  5. S. Baron-Cohen (2015), «Leo Kanner, Hans Asperger, and the Discovery of Autism», The Lancet, 386, 10001, pp. 1329-30.
  6. S. Bellini, J.K. Peters, L. Benner, A. Hopf (2007), «A Meta-analysis of School-based Social Skills Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders», Remedial and Special Education, 28, 3, pp. 153-62, DOI: 10.1177/07419325070280030401
  7. T.P. Berney (2000), «Autism. An Evolving Concept», The British Journal of Psychiatry, 176, 19, pp. 20-5,
  8. C. Biever (2007),«Web Removes Social Barriers for Those with Autism», New Scientist, 2610, pp. 26-7, --
  9. H. Blumer (1969), Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method, Berkeley, University of California Press; tr. it., L’interazionismo simbolico, Bologna, il Mulino, 2008.
  10. F. Boni (2007), Sociologia della comunicazione interpersonale, Bari, Laterza.
  11. A.V. Buescher, Z. Cidav, M. Knapp, D.S. Mandell (2014), «Costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United Kingdom and the United States», Jama Pedriatics, 168, 8, pp. 721-8,
  12. R. Callois (1967), Les Jeux et les Hommes, Paris, Gallimard; tr. it., I giochi e gli uomini. La maschera e la vertigine, Milano, Bompiani, 1981, 2000.
  13. E. Caniglia (2018), Neurodiversità. Per una sociologia dell’autismo, dell’Adhd e dei disturbi dell’apprendimento, Roma, Meltemi.
  14. Cdc – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014), Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder, --
  15. J.N. Constantino (2013), Social Responsiveness Scale, in F.R. Volkmar (ed.), Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, New York, Springer.
  16. J.N. Constantino, J. Gruber (2005), Social Responsiveness Scale (Srs) Manual, Los Angeles, Western Psychological Services.
  17. C. Cooley (1908), «A Study of the Early Use of Self-Words by a Child», Psychological Review, 15, pp. 339-57.
  18. P. Corsano (2007), Socializzazioni. La costruzione delle competenze relazionali dall’infanzia alla preadolescenza, Roma, Carocci.
  19. R. Di Santo (2016), Sociologia della disabilità. Teorie, modelli, attori e istituzioni, Milano, FrancoAngeli.
  20. M. Doni, S. Tomelleri (2011), Giochi sociologici. Conflitto, cultura, immaginazione, Milano, Raffaello Cortina.
  21. S.N. Elliot (1995), Best Practices in Preschool Social Skills Training, in A. Thomas, J. Grimes (ed.), Best Practices in School Psychology, Washington (DC), National Association of School Psychologists.
  22. F. Garelli, A. Palmonari, L. Sciolla (2006), La socializzazione flessibile. Identità e trasmissione dei valori tra i giovani, Bologna, il Mulino.
  23. B.G. Glaser, A.L. Strauss (1967), The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Strategies for Qualitative Research, New Brunswick, Aldine Transaction.
  24. E. Goffman (1959), The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, New York, Doubleday & Co; tr. it., La vita quotidiana come rappresentazione, Bologna, il Mulino, 1969.
  25. E. Goffman (1961), Encounters. Two tudies in the Sociology of Interaction, Bobbs-Merril, USA; tr. it., Espressione e identità, Milano, Mondadori, 1979.
  26. E. Goffman (1969), Strategic Interaction, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press; tr. it., L’interazione strategica, Bologna, il Mulino, 1988.
  27. B. Gonca (2015), «Occupational Therapy in Autism, in M. Fitzgerald, Autism Spectrum Disorder-Recent Advances», InTech, pp. 161-203, --, DOI: 10.5772/59168
  28. S.A. Gutman, E.I. Raphael-Greenfield, A.K. Rao (2012), «Effect of a Motor-based Role-play Intervention on the Social Behaviors of Adolescence with High-functioning Autism: Multiple-baseline Single-subject Design», American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 5, pp. 529-37,
  29. S.A. Gutman, E.I. Raphael-Greenfield, N. Carlson, R. Friedman, A. Iger (2012), «Enhancing Social Skills in Adolescents with Hight Functioning Autism Using Motor-based Role-play Intervention», The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1, 1, DOI: 10.15453/2168-6408.1019
  30. B. Henning, R. Cordier, S. Wilkes-Gillan, T. Falkmer (2016), «A Pilot Play-based Intervention to improve the Social Play Interactions of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their typically Developing Playmates», Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63, 4, pp. 223-32.
  31. J. Huizinga (1946), Homo ludens, Paris, Gallimard; tr. it., Homo ludens, Torino, Einaudi, 1973, 2002.
  32. R. Jakobson (1966), Saggi di linguistica generale, Milano Feltrinelli.
  33. A. Lowen (1958), The Language of the Body, New York, Mcmillan; tr. it., Il linguaggio del corpo, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1978.
  34. Y.S. Lincoln, E.G. Guba (1985), Naturalistic Inquiry, California, Sage.
  35. G.H. Mead (1934), Mind, Self and Society, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press; tr. it., Mente, Sé e società, Milano, Comunità, 1966.
  36. J. O’Connor, R. French, H. Henderson (2000), «Use of Physical Activity to improve Behavior of Children with Autism-two for one Benefits», Palaestra, 16, 3, pp. 22-6, DOI: 10.1155/2018/1825046
  37. C.Y. Pan (2010), «Effects of Water Exercise Swimming Program on Aquatic Skills and Social Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders», Autism, 14, 1, pp. 9-28.
  38. G. Reid, J. O’Connor (2003), «The Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Activity Selection: Assessment, and Program Organization», Palaestra, 19, pp. 20-27.
  39. G. Russo (2013), Questioni di ben-essere. Pratiche emergenti di cultura, sport, consumi, Milano, FrancoAngeli.
  40. C. Silverman (2008), «Fieldwork on Another Planet: Social Science Perspectives on the Autism Spectrum», Biosocieties, 3, pp. 325-41, DOI: 10.1017/S1745855208006236
  41. A.L. Strauss, J. Corbin (eds.) (1990), Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Tecniques, Thousands Oaks, Sage.
  42. P. Szatmari (2007), «Mapping Autism Risk Loci Using Genetic Linkage and Chromosomal Rearrangements». Nature Genetics, 39, 3, pp. 319-28,
  43. G. Tarde (1890), Les Lois de l’imitation, Paris, Alcan; tr. it., Le leggi dell’imitazione, Torino, Rosenberg & Sellier, 2012.
  44. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1999), Mental Health: A report of the Surgeon General, Rockville (MD), US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute ofMentalHealth.
  45. P. Watzlawick, J.H. Beavin, D.D. Jackson (1967), Pragmatic of Human Communication. A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies, and Paradoxes, New York, W.W. Norton; tr. it., Pragmatica della comunicazione umana. Studio dei modelli interattivi delle patologie e dei paradossi, Roma, Astrolabio-Ubaldini, 1971.
  46. W.S. White, K. Keonig, L. Scahill (2007), «Social Skills Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Intervention Research», Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder, 37, pp. 1858-68,
  47. Who – World Health Organization (2001), Icf – International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, Geneva; tr. it., Icf – Classificazione internazionale del funzionamento, della disabilità e della salute, Trento, Erickson, 2002.
  48. Who – World Health Organization (2007), Icf – International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Children and Youth version, Geneva; tr. it., Icf – Classificazione internazionale del funzionamento, della disabilità e della salute – Versione per bambini e adolescenti, Trento, Erickson, 2008.
  49. L. Yilmaz, M. Yanardaǧ, B. Birkan, G. Bumin (2004), «Effects of Swimming Training on Physical Fitness and Water Orientation in Autism», Pediatrics International, 46, 5, pp. 624-6.

Ivana Matteucci, Autismo e abilità sociali: il ruolo del gioco sportivo in "SOCIOLOGIA E RICERCA SOCIALE " 121/2020, pp 73-89, DOI: 10.3280/SR2020-121004