Summer camp for children with ASD and parents’ perception of changes in psycho-social skills

Alberto Cei *, Bruno Ruscello ** and Daniela Sepio ***

(*) Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Roma Open University, Rome, Italy
(**) School of Sport and exercise Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University “Tor Vergata University” Rome, Italy
(***) ASD Calcio Integrato, Rome, Italy


Cei, A., Ruscello, B., Sepio, D. (2019). Summer camp for children with ASD and parents’ perception of changes in psycho-social skills. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 50(2), 162-175. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2019.50.162


The study examined in children with ASD their psychosocial behaviors pre/post a summer sport camp of two intensive weeks in term of time (5 hours per day) and multidisciplinary approach. Participants were 29 children (8-13 years) from mild to severe degrees of ASD. They alternated the three activities each day for a time of 75 minutes: soccer, aquatic activities and expressive activities. The team leading the camp consisted in coaches, sport psychologists, one speech-language therapist and one physician. The Adaptive Social Skills Measure (Walker et al. 2010) has been used to assess the children psychosocial skills in four areas: verbal communication, social interaction, transitions and attention to task. The parents filled the questionnaire pre/post the camp assessing the psychosocial competences of their children. Results showed the parents perceived significant improvement in children for all four subscales. The data outlined the relevance to study in a naturalistic context these psychosocial skills in a short period of training but intensive for number of hours per day and activities practiced.