GamerFit ASD

Research Study

GamerFit-ASD is an adapted version of an evidence-based intervention, tailored for children ages 10-15 years with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants will engage in a fully-remote 12-week exergaming and telehealth coaching program. Exergaming involves playing physically active, developmentally appropriate video games on the user-friendly Nintendo Switch. Participants also receive customized guidance and support from trained telehealth coaches via Zoom.

Specific components of the GamerFit-ASD program include:
1. Weekly live telehealth coaching where a personal health coach helps youth learn about physical activity and healthy sleep practices, set goals, and develop action plans to improve physical activity and sleep
2. Three weekly exergaming sessions selected for each participant from a suite of developmentally appropriate games
3. Child support, including:
• Weekly exergaming challenge menu which can be completed on a printout or online
• PA and sleep tracking with a Fitbit
• On-demand exercise video health tip videos
• Motivational text messaging (sent to parent)
4. Parent support, including text reminders for telehealth coaching appointments and a Health Literacy Packet

GamerFit-ASD aims to increase physical activity levels and improve sleep in youth with ASD who are at high risk of being sedentary and having poor sleep. Getting healthy amounts of physical activity and sleep has been proven to help youth with ASD improve social, emotional, and cognitive function.

• The GamerFit-ASD program is offered at no cost for the participants
• Participants will be able to keep the Fitbit and exergames provided

This study is for kids with an autism diagnosis between the ages of 10-15 who have an adult caregiver who can be present during weekly telehealth coaching sessions. It’s ok for kids to have other diagnoses, such as mild to moderate intellectual disability or ADHD, but they have to be able use understand and use the Nintendo Switch and English language video games with some support and training. Youth with a diagnosis of an eating disorder, who are pregnant, or who have a chronic condition that prevents safe physical activity engagement are not eligible to participate. Parents/caregivers must be able to understand and interact with a coach in English, or have an adult in the household who can help translate. If the program proves feasible and effective in this small pilot test, funding will be sought to develop a language-inclusive approach.


Published on: Nov 7, 2022 at 17:58

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