»Autistic spectrum disorder represents a very complex concept of disorders that affect many areas of development and prevent the normal development and function of the child. Every child with autism disorder is different, unique and a cure for this disorder does not exist yet« (Pišek, 2017).
In the master's thesis, we wanted to determine the effect of physical activities on the movement abilities of a boy with an autistic spectrum disorder and severe mental disorder. The main goal of the master's thesis was to investigate the short-term effect of exercise on motor skills of a boy with an autistic spectrum disorder and a severe mental disorder. We conducted a case study of a 10-year-old boy with an autistic spectrum disorder and a severe mental disorder. Individual exercise was performed once a week at the school gym, the training was structured and planned. From November 2016 to May 2017 we carried out 25 exercises that lasted about 60 minutes. Measurements were carried out twice, in November and May. To measure progress, we used a direct real-time observation with a video that we made in the first exercise (fifth exercise unit) and at the end (the twenty-fourth exercise unit). With a regular diary which was filled in for each exercise unit we focused on individual movement elements. Five different areas related to functioning and daily life were checked with a modified scale of abilities for children with autistic spectrum disorder. Gross motor elements were checked by a gross motor test TGMD-2.
After analyzing videos and direct observation, we focused on observing the improvement of physical abilities, social interaction, behavior and communication. The boy was motivated during the exercise, the eye contact, he established, lasted longer and he used multiple word communication. Regarding the diary, we focused more on the movement tasks, which he carried out more appropriately from hour to hour. The greatest progress was seen in coordination and balance. According to the assessment of two kinesiologists, classmates and parents, improvement has also been shown in the field of play and social skills, coordination, daily activities and self-expression, which was measured with a modified scale for children with autism spectrum disorders. The boy progressed from the initial (42%) to the final (77.5%) in the modified scale for children with autism spectrum disorder. The greatest progress was seen in the field of self-expression, which was very difficult in the beginning. With this, we found that individual exercise in the selected sample was proved to be an effective method for improving primary and secondary disorders of the child with autism spectrum disorder and severe mental disorder. When measuring the gross motor elements with the TGMD-2 test, the boy advanced in comparison with the first assessment by 60%.