OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Children with autism focus of Corvallis Science Pub talk

11/03/2014

CORVALLIS, Ore. – For school-age children, the rise in autism spectrum disorder and the decrease in physical activity spell trouble. Since children diagnosed with autism tend to be more sedentary and also lag in the development of motor skills, physical activity may be more difficult to learn.

At the Nov. 10 Corvallis Science Pub, Megan MacDonald, an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, will explore the connection between autism and exercise.

“Our nation is in the midst of a physical inactivity epidemic, and children with ASD have not been spared," she said. “The good news is that we can teach these physically active behaviors to help ensure a healthy future.” 

The Science Pub presentation is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. 2nd St. in Corvallis.

MacDonald received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2011. Her research focuses on how motor skills and physically active lifestyles improve the lives of children and youth with and without disabilities. She has a specific interest in the movement skills of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

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About Oregon State University:  As one of only two universities in the nation designated as a land, sea, space and sun grant, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 31,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis, Bend and Newport, and through our award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.