Motor Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities

The first scientific report on our Empowering Steps Movement Therapy program. To read the report click the link below.


Developmental disabilities with associated motor skill impairment are prevalent and increasing in childhood and adolescence. Improvements in motor skills have broad implications for health related quality of life for individuals and for their families. Often, motor skill difficulties occur with multiple other problems, both health-related and also associated with the environmental context in which they occur. Behavioral issues, including low self-esteem are common. Environmental factors like family illness, financial pressures, inadequate school supports and inability to engage in community based recreation and sporting activities may be present. These barriers are interwoven with physical impairments to produce the picture of a complex developmental disability. The identification of efficient, effective motor skills programs and assessment tools with evidence-based research has broad implications for health and wellness policies and for health care costs. A gymnastics–based motor skills program which is part of a community based rehabilitation model is described and compared with other motor therapies. Preliminary evidence for positive outcomes and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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