There is growing empirical support which suggests children on the autism spectrum, as well as their caregivers experience significant health disparities. The global COVID-19 pandemic has only magnified the need to address health among vulnerable populations. While there has been a growing trend in the delivery of telehealth interventions, the delivery of such methods for children on the autism spectrum, and their caregivers remains relatively under examined. The primary goal of PLANE (Physical Literacy And Nutrition Education) is to promote positive trajectories of health for children on the autism spectrum and their primary caregivers through the delivery of a telehealth physical activity and nutrition education program. The study is a pre-experimental analysis of PLANE across 12 months. All activities will be delivered virtually through weekly synchronous and asynchronous programming. A total of 180 participants will be enrolled in this intervention, including children on the autism spectrum and caregivers. Each week a new physical activity skill along with opportunities for recipe assembly will be delivered remotely. Supplemental material will be disseminated online including; step by step directions outlining behavioral skill methodology, opportunities for additional skill practice, and reading material that support weekly topics. Study outcomes will be examined in the parent-child dyad and include rates of overweight/obesity, physical activity, nutrition and quality of life. Finally, feasibility of the telehealth intervention will also be measured. Justification for the conceptualization and delivery of PLANE is well warranted, and PLANE represents a promising intervention which is scalable, sustainable, and replicable.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.