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Graded Motor Skill Interventions in Children with Coordination Disorders

Graded Motor Skills Interventions in Children with Coordination DisordersDelays in motor skill development may affect academics, activities of daily living, concentration, emotional and social skills.  The Journal of Early Childhood Research reported on a study of children (ages 3-6) with coordination disorders who participated in motor skill interventions over the course of two years.   The Early Years Movement Skills (EYMSC) checklist and the Movement ABC were used for assessment purposes.  The motor skill interventions were established for each individual child using the assessment profiles and priorities of each child. Teachers were provided with guidelines to carry out the motor skill interventions.  The 54 children were divided into 3 groups (2 groups of children who had coordination difficulties and one group of children without coordination difficulties) receiving periods of intervention for 10 weeks on and 10 weeks off. During the periods of intervention, the children participated in 3 to 4 sessions per week at 20 minutes each.

The three graded parts of the motor skill intervention were:

  1.  exposure – age appropriate activities that supplement classroom work giving the
    child exposure to a wide range of tasks.
  2.  experience – if no improvement is seen with exposure the child actually experiences the fundamental motor skills that are necessary.
  3.   targeted practice –  specific methods such as task analysis, the use of context for motivation, paired learning and modified equipment are used to teach the child skills.

The results indicated:

  1.  the EYMSC was able to differentiate between children with and without coordination difficulties.
  2.  all the children improved their coordination skills following intervention and this was reflected in their EYMSC scores.
  3.  there was no significant difference in EYMSC scores between all three groups following the interventions indicating that the 2 groups of children with coordination difficulties had improved their skills.
  4. the use of graded intervention was effective for improving the coordination skills of young children with the majority of the children improving during the period of intervention.

The researchers concluded that graded interventions in 3-6 year old children may help to prevent more severe coordination difficulties later.

Reference:  Mary E Chambers and David A Sugden. Intervention for young children displaying coordination disorders. Journal of Early Childhood Research June 2016 14: 115-131, first published on October 1, 2014 doi:10.1177/1476718X14548780

Get Up and Learn Cover

Get Up and Learn – activities to integrate movement with learning.  This is an electronic book of 48 pages with over 35 activities that incorporate movement and learning.   The activities allow work on acquiring motor skills while promoting language arts, math, science and social studies. FInd out more at http://www.yourtherapysource.com/getuplearn.html