Special Issue "Promoting Engagement in Sport for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Roy McConkey
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Nursing and Health Research, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB, UK
Interests: intellectual and developmental disabilities; family; community based supports; innovative services; social inclusion; public attitudes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The value of sports is often under-rated in the lives of children with neuro-developmental disorders such as autism, ADHD and intellectual disability. 

Drawing on contemporary research and evaluation studies, this Special Issue will evidence the contribution that sports can make to the quality of lives of such children and their parents, especially with respect to improved health and wellbeing, their communication and peer interactions, their social networks and the development of friendships.  

A wide range of sporting activities for preschoolers through to older teenagers will be considered, including individual and team sports, and those undertaken in special settings as well as mainstream sports clubs. We would particularly welcome submissions from low- and middle-income countries where sport may compensate for a lack of therapeutic services.

The papers will describe the steps taken to recruit, enrol and engage the participation of children and their families in sports so that practitioners can gain insights into new approaches they can adopt. However, evidence of the impact on children, their non-disabled sport partners and family members is essential. This can come from a variety of research designs and methodologies, as appropriate to the aims of the study.

This Olympic Year is the perfect time to recognise and affirm the contribution that sport can make to the lives of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Prof. Dr. Roy McConkey
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sports
  • games
  • play
  • children
  • developmental disabilities
  • ASD
  • intellectual disability
  • family
  • international

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Aspects of Sport Participation Related to Thriving Among Youth with Intellectual Disability
Authors: Teresa M. Sellitto 1; Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter 2; Jessica L. Fraser-Thomas 2; Robert Balogh 3; Jonathan A. Weiss 1
Affiliation: 1. Department of Psychology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada; 2. School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada; 3. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, Ontario L1G 0C5, Canada

Title: "Sports for all" – the impact of a community based physical activity pro-gram on the access to mainstream sport for children with intellectual disability
Authors: Florian Pochstein
Affiliation: University of Education, Ludwigsburg, Germany

Title: Parent perceptions of the impact of Special Olympics Unified Sports on social wellbeing and school experiences for adolescents with intellectual and developmental disability
Authors: Holly E. Jacobs 1; Ashlyn Smith 2; Andrea Cahn 3
Affiliation: 1. Center for Social Development and Education, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA; 2. Special Olympics, Inc., Washington, DC, USA; 3. Special Olympics North America, Washington, DC, USA

Back to TopTop