Affinity-based teaching: Modifying tasks to improve autistic youth motor outcomes.

Takeaway: Using strengths to help improve outcomes for autistic youth will, ultimately, create a better and more successful learning environment.
Cite as: Colombo-Dougovito, A. M. (2020, April). Affinity-based teaching: Modifying tasks to improve autistic youth motor outcomes. Oral presentation at the 2021 SHAPE America Virtual National Convention & Expo, Online.


Autistic youth often show delayed motor skills compared to peers and have difficulty with common instructional methods used in PE settings. Providing visuals or modified instructions has been shown to lead to positive outcomes. It is, however, difficult to know how provide accommodations beyond trial-and-error. Through this session, attendees will learn a practical, evidence-based strategy to break down motor skills and modify instruction to meet the needs of their autistic students.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Session attendees will describe the necessary steps to break down a motor skill into teachable components. Further, attendees will have the opportunity to practice this process with other attendees to create a set of skill criteria for a chosen skill.
  2. Session attendees will apply the process of designing task modifications for motor skill criteria. Attendees will have the opportunity to construct their own task modifications the skill criteria they created.
  3. Session attendees will have the opportunity to explain their skill breakdown and task modifications to other groups. This will allow for session attendees to witness multiple variations of this process and provide critique to each other.

Audio Transcript

*It's missing the first few minutes of the introduction.

2021 SHAPE Presentation - Affinity Based
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