Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Kinesiology and Physical Education


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Paula Fletcher

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Pam Bryden

Advisor Role



Over five studies, this thesis aimed to investigate the overall health and wellbeing of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The primary objectives were to: (a) explore the areas of concern among individuals with ASD across the spectrum; (b) understand the differences pertaining to the overall health, social and motor functioning between high functioning and low functioning individuals; (c) understand the sex differences pertaining to the overall health, social, and motor functioning among high and low functioning individuals with ASD; (d) gain in-depth detail regarding the social and motor functioning of children and youth with ASD through the perspectives of caregivers; and (e) examine the association between imitation, social, and motor performance in individuals with ASD. Findings showed that individuals with ASD experience many issues, namely, health, social, and motor issues. These issues vary depending on the level of functioning of individuals, but not the sex of the individuals. Findings further indicated a reciprocal relationship between social and motor functioning, as well as, imitation and motor performance. In addition to providing further insight into the challenges individuals with ASD experience, this thesis offers many well-informed credible suggestions that warrant the attention of health care professionals, caregivers, family members, the school system, and researchers.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season