Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Garcia, Clersida

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Motor ability in children--Testing; Developmentally disabled children--Psychology


This thesis examined how a boy with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and autistic-like characteristics responded in three different settings. More specifically the study was examining if there were any changes in attention, peer play, and motor-skill development and if so, what were they and how did they occur? The study was a qualitative one in which fieldwork research methodology was used. Field notes were used to get thick descriptions about the observed contexts in which the practice of specific motor skills occurred and the social events that happened during the practice times. Documentary information and videotapes were also part of the data-collecting process. These qualitative data were analyzed using an inductive process that generated assertions. The assertions were then triangulated with the other sources of information. The three settings that were used for this study were the Motor Development Research Program, the Special Physical Education Teaching-Research Clinic and the subject’s regular physical education class. The findings showed commonalities across all three program settings on the different criteria. The subject demonstrated attention in the three programs by following directions and staying on task, by making eye contact to peers and by making eye contact to the teacher. Peer play was seen in all three settings when the subject showed affection and gave assistance. Gestures were observed for brief periods of time across all programs; however, they did not seem to affect the child’s attention and cooperation. The motor-skill development of the subject in the three motor skills studied ABSTRACT (running, kicking, and overhand throwing) did show progressive change over the 10-week observational period. The context of some programs appeared to facilitate the development of some motor and prosocial behaviors. This qualitative case study approach provided the opportunity to closely observe changes in behavior that occurred in the context of the three different settings. This study supplied important information to better understand how a child with PDD and autisticlike characteristics can become more functional in society.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [86]-89)


vi, 105 pages




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