The school inclusion of the Autistic Student: The contributions of physical education classes


ALMEIDA, Esthefani Caroline Alves de [1], MACIEL, Rosana Mendes Maciel [2]

VIEIRA, Luciene Batista; RODRIGUES, Elaine Aparecida Fernandes. The School Inclusion Of The Autistic Student: The Contributions Of Physical Education Classes. Multidisciplinary Core Scientific Journal Of Knowledge. Year 01, Issue 01, vol. 10, pp. 154-171.  November 2016. ISSN: 2448-0959


It is this work on the school inclusion of student bearer of autism spectrum disorder, emphasizing that the process physical educator's role. In the course of the article, about the definition of the disorder and how are their characteristics. Focussed on how the diagnosis is carried out, and must be done by a multidisciplinary team specialized in the subject. To address this aspect, it was necessary to discuss the autistic triad and how are the criteria used to diagnose the ICD (international classification of diseases). As a result, it was on school inclusion, respect of the laws governing the issue and protect the right of autistic student a quality education. In text, spoke about the need to include the autistic student in physical education classes and how crucial the role of the teacher, who should play your role not only on the basis of knowledge, but also with sensitivity, observation and in view of the individual criteria. To this end, bibliographic research in medical journals and legislation sites, sports, books, monographs and scientific articles. It is concluded that despite all the difficulties that cause the disorder, autistic student's need, along with help from a team, include it in the community, extending this inclusion in the school and also in physical education classes. In this process, the educator has fundamental importance, appearing as an agent that speeds the autistic student fits in your midst and live with more dignity.

Keywords: Autism, autistic Triad, Inclusion, school inclusion, physical Educator.


Autism is a behavioral syndrome, having as main feature the deficit in social interaction, translated primarily by the inability in interpersonal relations, along with a shortage of language and behavior changes ( VIEIRA; BALDIN; FREIRE, 2013).

Autism has varied etiology and can occur in any social class, race and culture, and about 65 to 90% of cases are linked to mental deficiency (CAMARGO; BOSA, 2009).

Among the several difficulties in terms of social interaction, we can emphasize the isolation and inappropriate social behaviour. Other difficulties can be perceived, such as poor eye contact, complicated fitness in collective activities, improper statements of affection and failures on issues related to empathy.

All these problems have many causes, but one of them relates to the lack of preparation of education professionals to meet the demand of inclusion.

Social inclusion means preparing the autistic student to live in community, giving you the opportunity to live harmoniously with children that do not have the same disorder.  Vieira, Baldin and Freire (2013) teach in order to demystify labels that were given long ago and are incondizentes with the current reality of autism.

It was aimed to demonstrate in this final project how the bearer of the autistic spectrum disorder, how does your social and school inclusion, what are the difficulties faced and especially the importance of physical educator in this process .

In the course of the work, will speak about autism and school inclusion, emphasizing the importance of the role of the educator and the school institution. Approach on concepts on the autistic spectrum disorder and about the characteristics of the disorder and what the carrier techniques used for your diagnosis. Will talk about the need for inclusion of autistic in the community, and the rules governing that right. Explain about the autistic student and about how PE can contribute to bring a better quality of life to the autistic student. This article will emphasize the role of the physical educator and the ways in which it can develop this process so complex and delicate.

To this end, research through literature review with bibliographic survey, according to the assumptions of qualitative research (Minayo, 2001), studied scientific articles relevant to the topic as well as the place of the Federal Council of education and books on the subject. Also it was necessary to conduct research in theses, dissertations and monographs, all scientifically supported, as the law specifies.


2.1-definitions and characteristics

The term autism which in literal sense means "back to himself," originated at the junction of two Greek words, which are: autos (in itself) and ismo (back to), and the term autistic was first used by Plouller in 1906, which at the time studying the thought processes of patients with schizophrenia (square, 2011).

According to David (2012), autism is a term that can be best explained by Global development Disorder classifications (TGD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and includes the following features: difficulty of communication, interaction and social interest and restricted activities, esteriotipados and repetitive. According to the author's explanation, within the frame of autism, there are varying degrees, some more lenient or more severe and even an intermediate degree.

In your work, David (2012), cites the teaching of Klin (2006), about the symptoms of autism. Worth checking out:

There is a remarkable variation in the expression of symptoms in autism. Children with lower functioning are characteristically seedlings completely or largely isolated from social interaction and conducting a few inroads. At the next level, children can accept passively social interaction, but do not seek it. At this level, one can observe any spontaneous language. Among those with highest degree of operation and are a little older, your social life style is different, in the sense that they may be interested in the social interaction, but cannot launch it or keep it typical. The social style of such individuals was named ' active but odd ', in the sense that they usually find it difficult to regulate social interaction after this started. The behavioral characteristics of autism changes during the course of development (DAVID, 2012, p. 32, apud Klin, 2006, p. 6).

The World Health Organization (who) defines autism as follows:

Autism is a inadequacidade in the development that manifests itself in a serious way. Is disabling and typically appears during the first three years of life. It affects about 20 of each 10000 born and is four times more common in males than in females. It is found worldwide and in families of any racial, ethnic and social setting. If not managed so far to prove any psychological cause in the environment of these children, which can cause the disease (2016)

Autistic disorder, also referred to as early infantile autism or autism, Kanner has a tripod, namely: prejudice in social interaction, communication and dramatic impairment loss with regard to interest in activities.

According to Ciantelli, milk and Martins (2013), the disorder presents itself before 3 years of age, more commonly in males (incidence of approximately four to five times larger) and may be accompanied by other pathologies, being the the main mental retardation. Similarly, according to the same authors, patients with the disorder of autism may exhibit other behavior, such as hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, autoagressão behavior, feeding disorders and sleep abnormalities asleep and affection, absence of fear or excessive fear the harmless objects.

As Gauderer lesson (1993) approximately 75% of patients with autism have mild or more severe level, some mental retardation. However, the opposite does not apply, that is, not everyone who have mental retardation are suffering from autism.

Other important features about autism are explained by Grandin and Scariano (1999), which they considered a development disorder. The autistic have a deficiency in processing sensory information, which causes the child to react to stimuli so excessive or lag. The child can also react absent the kind of fence, blocking external stimuli that are too heavy. Autism, for being an anomaly brought from childhood, can interfere in many facets of life of the individual, causing your insulation, causing the individual to remain in your inner world.

Second square (2011), the causes for autism disorder are unknown, and observe the symptoms over time. Although no cure, autism can present means relevant treatment improvement. In this way, the faster is the diagnosis, the more successful the bearer can get.


The diagnosis of TEA is very difficult, and should the case be reviewed by a multidisciplinary team. Not be subject to clinical examination, as for example, the blood, the criterion for evaluation requires experience and expertise (PAPIN; SANCHES, 2013).

To diagnosis of the TEA, it is necessary to evaluate the case by a multidisciplinary team qualified.

As brilliantly explained by Petersen & Wainer (2011):

To identify the diagnostic criteria for autism is need to possess experience and expertise, because they present a high degree of specificity and sensitivity in groups of various age groups and among individuals with cognitive skills and varied language. The diagnosis is performed based on the autistic triad, i.e. the areas of social interaction, communication and restricted behaviors (PETERSEN; WAINER, 2011, p. 87).

To succeed in the diagnosis, required if makes the analysis of the autistic triad, which comes through the area of social interaction, communication and restricted behaviors.

Adds Petersen and Wainer (2011), that the evaluation of a child with autistic behavior must go beyond an approach as the presence or absence of symptoms. The professional should look at with the deviant behavior, compared with those inherent in child development. One must evaluate if the child is having or not the own powers of your age group, whereas the typical and atypical behavior. And such comparisons must be carried out by specialized professionals in child behavior at all stages of development.

According to the teaching of Petersen and Wainer (2011), the identification of the syndrome can be confirmed by evaluations through games that explore aspects of the autistic triad. This assessment must provide more intricate, it is not found only in behavioral analysis, but go beyond, and requires revision of the child development and behavior, which includes interview with parents or guardians, audiometry, neurological and other.

Currently the classification of TEA is carried out according to the criteria described in the diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM-IVTR) of 1995, which are used by professionals as targeting to compose the diagnosis. The evaluator for criteria in the autistic triad. The DSM currently is on your fifth version, noting that there have been some changes, but the descriptive criteria remain with the same base, namely the triad. Another instrument used to perform the diagnosis is the international classification of diseases (ICD-10). There are also other instruments that help specifically, which are information collection and filling of the criteria contained in both manuals, as we will see below (PAPIN; SANCHES, 2013).

In accordance with the DSM IV (1995), the criteria for the diagnosis of Autistic Disorder total 06 or more items from 1, 2 and 3, with at least 2 of january 2 and march 1, as it features the table:

Table 1-DSM-IV (1995). Autism Triad

1) qualitative Impairment in social interaction, manifested by at least two of the following: 2) qualitative communication Losses, manifested by at least one of the following: 3) restricted and repetitive Patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, expressed by at least one of the following:
the sharp Injury in the use of) multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye contact, facial expression, direct body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction; the) delay or total absence of development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication 26 such as gesture or MIME) in individuals with adequate speech. the) Concern insistent with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest, abnormal in intensity or focus;
b) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level; b Sharp injury in the capacity of) initiate or develop a conversation; b) Accession adamant routines or rituals apparently specific and non-functional;
c) lack of spontaneous attempt to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (for example, don't show, bring or pointing out objects of interest); c) stereotyped and repetitive Use of language (can appear echolalia) or idiosyncratic language; c) stereotyped and repetitive motor Ways (for example, shake or wring hands or fingers, or complex whole-body movements);
d) lack of social or emotional reciprocity; d) lack of games or imitation games varied social and spontaneous suitable development. d) persistent Preoccupation with parts of objects, not paying attention to relevant aspects of the environment.


Explain Papin and Sanches (2013), which is common too, the delay or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset before the age of three years old:

  1. Social interaction
  2. Language for media purposes
  3. Imaginative games or symbols.

According to the authors, the disturbance is not better explained by Rett Disorder or childhood disintegrative disorder.

At the same time, clarify that the ICD-10 (1993), covers the following criteria listed in the table below, and one of the 16 listed, at least 8 must be met.

Table 2-ICD 10 (1993)-criteria for diagnosis

Remarkable injury in reciprocal social interaction, as manifested by at least three of the five items below: Striking lesion in communication: Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, manifested by at least two of the six items below: Development abnormalities should have been noted in the first three years for the diagnosis to be made.
the) difficulty in using properly the eye contact, facial expression, gestures and posture to deal with social interaction; the) absence of social use of any existing language skills; the stereotyped patterns and obsession) restricted;  
b) difficulty in developing relations of companionship; b) decrease of imaginative and social imitation actions; b) specific Attachment unusual objects;  
c) difficulty in developing relations of companionship; d) Little sync and the absence of reciprocity in dialogue; c) apparently compulsive Loyalty to specific non-functional routines or rituals;  
and) absence of satisfaction with respect to sharing pleasure with the happiness of others and/or spontaneous search in sharing their own satisfaction through involvement with other people; f) little flexibility on language expression and relative lack of creativity and imagination in mental processes; d) stereotyped and repetitive motor Habits;


g) lack of social and emotional reciprocity. h) Absence of emotional response to verbal and non-verbal actions of others; and) obsession with non-functional elements or partial recreation material objects;


  I) Little use of variations in Cadence and emphasis to reflect the communicative modulation; f) Anxiety about changes in small non-functional details.  
  j) absence of gestures to emphasize or facilitate understanding in oral communication.    



3.1 – the right and Access

The right of access to education is a constitutional right, and above all an exercise in citizenship. Any person, regardless of your physical condition, psychological, moral, economic and social right secured by Decree No. 6,094/2007, to enjoy the spaces local, State, and federal education (BRAZIL, 2007).

While in Brazil there are this and other legislation to act by ensuring access of people with autism and other disabilities a qualitative education, these same standards do not ensure the student access to professors and professionals to help and implement this right to education (PAPIN; SANCHES, 2013).

Sandhu and Hammes (2009) ponder how the precarious reality education worker, without the conditions and appropriate, is impossible or encounters difficulties in providing the special student a qualitative education. The teacher has special importance role in dealing with the special student, because he competes convey the student appropriate techniques to each age group and its potential, noting that in the case of autism, should also be directed to your needs specific. The educator is also given the task of mediating the social and cultural values.

The law of Guidelines and Bases of education (LDB) No. 9,394/96, gave greater emphasis to special education. In your chapter V, which deals with special education, does know (BRAZIL, 1996):

Art. 58. Special education means, for the purposes of this Act, the school education mode, preferably on regular network offered education for students with special needs.

  • 1. There will, when necessary, specialized support services, in regular school, to meet the peculiarities of the clientele of special education.
  • 2. The education service will be done in classes, schools or specialized services, where, in the light of the specific conditions of the students, it is not possible to your integration in the common classes of regular education.
  • 3. The provision of special education, the State's constitutional duty, beginning in the age group of zero to six years, during the children's education.

Art. 59. Education systems shall ensure to learners with special needs:

I-curricula, methods, techniques, educational resources and organization specific to meet your needs;

II-specific completion for those who cannot reach the level required for the completion of elementary school, because of their disabilities, and acceleration to complete in less time the curriculum for the gifted;

III-teachers with adequate specialization in medium level or higher, for specialized care, as well as regular trained school teachers for the integration of these pupils in ordinary classes;

IV-special education for work, with a view to effective integration into your life in society, including appropriate conditions for those who do not reveal competitive work insertion capability, by articulation with the official bodies, as well as to those who boast a superior craftsmanship in the artistic, intellectual or psychomotor areas;

V-equal access to the benefits of additional programs available for their regular education.

Art. 60°. The regulatory agencies of the education systems shall establish criteria for the characterization of private non-profit institutions specializing and working exclusively in special education, for technical and financial support by the Government. Sole paragraph. The Government will adopt, as preferred alternative, the expansion of services to students with special needs in their own 31 public education regardless of regular support to the institutions referred to in this article (BRAZIL, 1996).

The owned of device transcribed analysis, it appears that the responsibility in entering the person with autism in society, not only the family, but extends to the educator, as well as the educational institution.

To this end, necessary if the educator preparation in order for you to receive properly, this demand and your need. In fact, there is no need to talk about social inclusion without thinking in an inclusive environment. However, says Cunha (2012), that this inclusive environment not only makes for its pedagogical resources, but also for the human qualities of their operators. In other words, the educator must prepare to face the resources available, your resource room and the knowledge acquired in training, to carry out the education of the individual so that it reaches the point established.

For Papim and Sanches (2013), the role of the educator is to stimulate the child to training and knowledge. In this sense, is that the teacher is of such importance, that the child be ready to deal with adversity that exist within the classroom. Likewise, the educator must be prepared to deal with the complications that can occur in classrooms in order to accommodate adequately the manifestations of the disorder.

Wedge (2012) underscores that "we cannot educate without look at the student in your individuality in your social role in the conquest of your autonomy". No disrespect to the teacher's autonomy, it takes a lot of attention to the world of the autistic is investigated and signaled with importance. And that the role of the educator, whether to allow the real autistic interaction with the community, with the quality and representativeness that everyone deserves.

3.2 the role of physical education teacher

Physical education can be defined as an area which includes psychological, biological, sociological aspects and cultural, as well as the relationship between them, showing this luck a fundamental role in the control and overall development of the students, particularly in If in the case of those with disabilities, both in motor development, and intellectual, social and emotional development (STRAPASSON; CARNIEL, 2007).

Second flour (2014), the physical education classes have scoped the development of a behavior of people with special needs so that your better interaction with the environment in which they are inserted. Given this, it is imperative the need for intervention in children with autism, so that they do not remain with cognition, psychomotor and affective.

In this step Marqueze and Mazazzi (2011), explain that the physical education contributes greatly to increase socialization and interaction of autistic children, since works in the development of your body awareness through intercourse interpersonal. Another point that deserves to be considered are the schedules of classes and the duration. Is that the autistic like having your routine, and when this is broken, can lead to a crisis.

It's like very well noted Marqueze and Mazazzi (2011):

One of the objects that can be used in class, are colored balls, by establishing the attention of autistic due to your visual learning, and also because they allow both individualized activities, as in small groups, thus enabling the his interaction with the activities and the other students. All objects with many colors and moving, can provide, the autistic student, a greater interest in using it (MARQUEZE; MAVAZZI, 2011).

Are measures such as cited above that causes the school physical education constitutes an inclusion. Physical activity driven allows the student to integrate to the reality, thus, autonomy and liberality. In addition, the physical education is beneficial to the development of each person with their peculiarities, as each one is able to return the engine to your way. Based on this reasoning, it is essential to respect the individual limits, whereas the ability of each to express themselves (flour, 2014).

"For an autistic child, the body can be an object of angst and panic, especially if he's not well stimulated and understood. It is therefore necessary for it to become a pole of stability and safety "(FARLEY, 2008).

In fact, the physical education for the autistic student plays role of assistance to develop their social skills and progress in quality of life, however, the physical education, by itself, is not able to meet all the needs of the handicapped, which requires a multidisciplinary team specialized.

With respect to the professional of physical education, it should pay attention to what the child likes it or not. The levy should not be made, and that the ideal will be added gradually, so that the child get used to it. Positioning of Thomas (2007), the physical educator must avail themselves of activities consistent with the reality of the student, in order to facilitate the learning process and avoid frustration. This time, on some occasions the educator will have to use a location, where there isn't much visual and auditory stimulation, so to avoid the distraction of the student.

In this step, it is worth quoting an excerpt from the Magisterium of Thomas (2007):

The use of activities not consistent with the community's culture and sports games with complex rules, competitions and imaginary games hinder learning and causes frustration for students, according to the autistic triad. The teacher can use cyclical activities such as swimming, cooper, exercise bike, bodybuilding, gymnastics, circuit activities, relaxing activity, use of songs and coherent activities social culture community in coma that students live (Thomas, 2007).

The activities must have necessarily beginning, middle and end, as well as "circuit with obstacles, transposition of objects, changes of direction, dynamic and static balance, jumps, throws and ball games help in acquiring motor skills" (flour , 2014).

To achieve the end sought, the physical educator should pay attention that the important thing is not to give emphasis to the movements, but the use of these, remembering that the key is the quality of the activity. Required, in addition, a motor evaluation, screening, diagnosis and prescription (Thomas, 2007).

Second understanding of Gorla (2001), the intervention should occur as soon as possible, in order to avoid that the autistic child has cognitive losses, as well as in the areas of affectivity and psychomotor. As the physical education able to collaborate with the progress of his motor skills and their abilities of daily life, it is essential to be aware that various pedagogical tools can be used to collaborate with the advance of the autistic child.

A very interesting example was published on the website of the Federal Council of physical education, explaining how the practice of physical activities comes assisting students in a gym in Rio de Janeiro (CONFEF, 2011).

Below is the content of the report:

A gym in Rio de Janeiro, kids have fun during the session of gymnastics of physical education professional Rodrigo Brívio (017431-G CREF/RJ). These boys and girls, aged 3:15 years, divert of cones placed on the bar, jump Hula hoops willing on the mat, jump and sing on the trampoline. Children are very different from each other, but with a common diagnosis: autism.
It all started nearly four years ago, when an autistic student enrolled at the Academy and was transferred to Rodrigo, who had previously worked with Special physical education. "I started with the Victor. There his mother called another mom, who called another mom, who called another …, "says Brívio, who, from that first student, has been getting from others by not only parents, but also to medical professionals. With only word-of-mouth ("I have no card, nothing"), the number of children served jumped to 30-and there's a waiting list.
Artistic gymnastics sessions encourage physical contact and cause children to develop your motor skills and ways of communicating, through palms or gestures – some even rehearse their first words. "The autistic are very resistant to the touch. And Rodrigo, with that game, this interaction, you can approach and break that barrier, "says Marcos Callipo, father of one of the children served by the professional. He points out another win that brings activity to the practitioners. "On autism, you must, at all times, impose limits. And with these activities, Rodrigo will gradually managing to impose such a limit. In a month I can see enough result, "attests.
The excitement of these parents with the results obtained by the gymnastics can be conferred by the dropout rate near zero. "I lost only one student, three and a half years here. The kids don't get out of here. Don't go, "stresses Rodrigo (CONFEF, 2011).

In fact, dialogue, mediation of pedagogical educated, as well as the understanding of the development process, requires sensitivity, patience, boldness and confrontation of the new, the unknown and especially the belief in the potential of all students. All these elements must transcend the limitations of the student, being, therefore, inclusivistas attitudes. The proposed insertion of the autistic student in traditional games, gymnastics or the gym, acts as an element of culture, allows with your historical-cultural character, the value of freedom, autonomy and effective participation of students, so that they can draw up and re-shape the way of play and exercise, according to your wishes and interests, mediated by the action of professor CHACON (classifiers; SETHI, 2011).


As explained in the course of the work, to the bearer of Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is of utmost importance the development of psychomotor work with emphasis on the Constitution of the body schema, in order that he recognises his own body and have a larger perception with respect to the space that surrounds it, as well as about the objects around them.

This disorder is, par excellence, the illness of contact and communication. As a result, you can only help a person with autism to integrate in the community in which he lives, using programs that have as their basis the autistic triad, which make it possible to address the fundamental strengths and deficits of autism.

The Mission of the educator of people with autism is fundamentally to see the world through their eyes, and use this to teach them the work entered in the culture of the more independent way possible.

Physical education programs and exercises should serve as tools to dignify the life of autistic student. To this end, the teacher must focus on teaching of movements and activities that are useful in daily life and serve to improve in order to provide the student with more quality of life.

School and social insertion of the autistic is based on treating human beings with dignity, providing you with independence and freedom, and it is within this set of elements to investigate and understand the world of the autistic means opening paths to a world more isonômico.


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[1] Undergraduate academic degree in physical education.

[2] Master in education-public policy and Management in education from the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia. Has experience in the field of physical education, with emphasis on physical education, working mainly on the following topics: dance, swimming, disabilities, motor learning and development, psychomotor, productive restructuring of the teaching work and public policies for education, scientific methodology and final project.


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