The purpose of this study was to present a review of studies that have examined the motor proficiency (MP) of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID) by using standardized motor assessment tools (Movement Assessment Battery for Children; Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency; Test of Gross Motor Development). The search conducted in three electronic databases, following specific criteria, revealed 17 studies considering children with ASD and 9 with ID. Their review revealed that, regardless of the motor assessment tool used, children with ASD and ID demonstrate difficulties in their fine and gross motor skills. Moreover, children within the same disorder spectrum exhibit various MP levels. This information, although limited, is valuable and should be deployed if the negative consequences of poor MP are to be countered and the daily living of those populations is to be improved.
It is well know that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have deficits in their social skills. However, movement programmes have been found to enhance their social development. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a Greek traditional dance (GTD) programme on the social skills of children with ASD. Eight 6-14-year-old children with ASD participated in the study and were randomly classified into the control group (CG), who took part only in the physical education lessons, and the experimental group (EG), who apart from physical education participated in an 8-week TGD programme of two sessions/week. Children’s social skills were assessed with the Educational Evaluation Tool for children with autism in the field of Social Skills (Apteslis et al., 2012) that was administered to participants’ teachers. Due to both the small sample size and the great heterogeneity of children with ASD, the participants were faced as eight case studies classified into two groups (EG; CG). According to the results, children of the EG presented higher improvement in social skills compared to those of the CG. The above findings are encouraging; however, further research with a larger sample size and a GTD programme of longer duration is necessary if sound conclusions are to be drawn.