Monday, February 28, 2011
I recently was able to try out the new Kinect on the Xbox. It was an interesting experience. The Kinect is able to detect your motions without any remote or game controller. Not only does it detect upper extremity motion (like the Wiimote) it also can detect lower extremity motion. I played soccer and did several track and field events. It was definitely very different from the Wii. The first step is to get the Kinect to register your motions. It was hard to match up my hands or feet exactly where the Kinect wanted me to. I found it to be difficult to follow which person I even was. In addition, the motor planning and body awareness required to kick the ball or jump a hurdle was challenging. I am sure if I practiced more I would be able to plan and execute my virtual motor actions better. For now though I am sticking with the Wii.
I do see amazing possibilities for the reasonably priced technology though. I imagine therapeutic home exercise programs where therapists can remotely track how a client is doing with regards to range of motion, reaction time, balance skills and more.
If you have tried the Kinect, what did you think of it?
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Reference: Murphy, N et al. The Function of Parents and Their Children With Cerebral Palsy PM&R Volume 3, Issue 2 , Pages 98-104, February 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Reference: William J. Barrow, Margie Jaworski,and Pasquale J. Accardo. Persistent Toewalking in Autism J Child Neurol 0883073810385344, first published on January 31, 2011 doi:10.1177/0883073810385344
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
I just finished listening to it and the researchers bring up some good points on:
- why children need variability in order to learn motor skills.
- Children need to fail at times in order to learn the correct movements or postures.
- how children benefit from variability as they explore their environments
Reference: Variability in Childhood Development. Physical Therapy doi: 10.2522/ptj.2010.90.12.1708 Physical Therapy November 2010 vol. 90 no. 12 1708-1709
Thursday, February 17, 2011
- social and exploratory behaviors were the same in crawling infants whether crawling or in a baby walker
- independently walking infants spent significantly more time interacting with toys and mothers, made more vocalizations and directed gestures than age matched, crawling peers in a baby walker
- when infants progress from crawling to walking increased interaction with mothers and more sophisticated social interactions were observed (even when controlled for age)
For non ambulatory young children, this may be appropriate to reference when justifying a need for powered mobility or mobile standing frames.
Reference: Melissa W. Clearfield Learning to walk changes infants’ social interactions. Infant Behavior and Development Volume 34, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages 15-25
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
In a second study, the researchers used trans-cranial magnetic stimulation to the motor control area of the brain on 49 children with ADHD compared to 49 children without ADHD. The results showed that the short interval cortical inhibition (the brain's "braking mechanism") was decreased by 40% in children with ADHD. This reduction in inhibition was strongly associated with the severity of the ADHD. In addition, the children with ADHD scored 60% lower on tests of motor development.
Reference: American Academy of Neurology. Abnormal Control of Hand Movements May Hint at ADHD Severity in Children. Retrieved from the web on 2/15/2011 from http://www.aan.com/press/index.cfm?fuseaction=release.view&release=908
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
While you are at it, check out these videos to explain how to support children's physical and outdoor play from Eastern Connecticut State University Worth a look.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Executive functions include working memory, inhibitory control and cognitive or mental flexibility. These three main abilities work together to make up executive functions.
Some of the key research indicates the following:
- that the building blocks of executive function start during early childhood but continue to develop into the adolescent years
- scientists are making great gains in determining what areas of the brain executive functions are dependent upon to develop i.e. mostly the prefrontal cortex but also the anterior cingulate, parietal cortex and the hippocampus
- executive function builds a strong foundation for school readiness, academic success, social, emotional and moral development.
- a child's environment plays a large role in developing executive function
- specialized training programs can help executive function skills to develop
- focused preschool interventions can help to strengthen a child's executive function skills
- when improvements in executive function are seen it carries over to social and academic successes
You can download the entire paper at the Center on the Developing Child - Harvard University.
Reference: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2011). Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function: Working Paper No. 11. Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu
Friday, February 11, 2011
- statistical analysis indicated that variance in handwriting based on the assessments was greater than or equal to 20% for legibility and greater than or equal to 26% for speed
- only scores on the Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration were different between skilled and non skilled handwriters
The researchers suggest that occupational therapists explore other influential factors besides sensory motor for handwriting difficulties because of low correlations between the assessments and handwriting ability.
Reference: Sheryl Klein, Val Guiltner, Patti Sollereder and Ying Cui
Relationships Between Fine-Motor, Visual-Motor, and Visual Perception Scores and Handwriting Legibility and Speed Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics 2011 31:1, 103-114
Visual Motor Exercises: 25 long mazes and patterns to practice pencil control. Only $4.99
Free sample page is below or here.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
- Increased brain activity in prefrontal cortex seen on MRI
- IQ scores increased by 3.8 points with 40 minutes of exercise per day afterschool (smaller increases in children who exercised 20 minutes per day)
- Improved math scores but not improved reading skills
Reference: Physorg.com Exercise helps overweight children think better, do better in math. Retrieved from the web on 2/10/11 at http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-overweight-children-math.html
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Do you find this is true based on your experiences? I have found that children with poor kinesthetic awareness usually have motor skill delays include handwriting deficits. The researchers did conclude that a limitation of the study is the small sample size but it still makes you think...
Reference: Brink, Anne O'Leary PT; Jacobs, Anne Burleigh PT, PhD Kinesthetic Sensitivity and Related Measures of Hand Sensitivity in Children With Nonproficient Handwriting Pediatric Physical Therapy: Spring 2011 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 88–94
Monday, February 7, 2011
1. You have the chance to see first hand during each session what functional tasks or skills need improvement.
2. The child's normal daily routine is not interrupted. If it is during school hours, the child will not be missing important class instruction.
3. You can provide and use only materials that are in the classroom or home making it more feasible for teachers and parents to carry over activities when you are not there.
4. You can actually see whether your environmental modifications are appropriate. Are teachers or parents able to carry out your recommendations to use adaptive equipment or modify assignments?
5. The teachers and parents can observe what you are doing each time making it easier for them to incorporate any techniques into the child's normal day everyday not just 2 times per week for 30 minutes.
Includes over 60 reproducible reporting forms with hundreds of suggested modification and interventions for students
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Reference: CLAIRE KERR, BRONA C MCDOWELL, JACKIE PARKES, MIKE STEVENSON, AIDAN P COSGROVE. Age-related changes in energy efficiency of gait, activity, and participation in children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology Volume 53, Issue 1, pages 61–67, January 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Reference: Jeans, Kelly A., Browne, Richard H., Karol, Lori A.
Effect of Amputation Level on Energy Expenditure During Overground Walking by Children with an Amputation J Bone Joint Surg Am 2011 93: 49-56