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Developing Overhand Throwing Skills for a Child With Autism With a Collaborative Approach in School-Based Therapy

Colebourn, Jennifer A. PT, DPT, MS; Golub-Victor, Ann C. PT, DPT, MPH; Paez, Arsenio PT, DPT, MS, CEIS

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000405
Case Reports

Purpose: This case report presents an interdisciplinary approach in school-based therapy, combining physical therapy and applied behavior analysis to improve the motor skills and the participation in recreational activities of a child with autism spectrum disorder.

Methods: A 9-year-old child with autism spectrum disorder participated in a 20-week gross motor intervention designed to improve the child's overhand throwing ability, which included weekly physical therapy instruction and daily throwing trials using applied behavior analysis approaches.

Results: The child demonstrated gains in throwing accuracy, significant gains on measures of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2, the Test of Gross Motor Development-2, and the School Function Assessment.

Conclusion: This unique approach in school-based therapy demonstrates effective strategies for a multidisciplinary intervention to improve motor learning skills and participation in recreational activities in the school setting.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.A case report featuring a multi-disciplinary school-based intervention to improve motor performance and physical activity participation in a child with autism spectrum disorder.

Department of Physical Therapy, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Correspondence: Jennifer A. Colebourn, PT, DPT, MS, Hudson Public Schools, 14 Wayside Rd, Westborough, MA 01581 (

At the time this case report was written, Dr Colebourn was a student in the transitional DPT program of Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. and Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association. All rights reserved.