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  1. A Perception-Action Approach to Understanding Typical and Atypical Motor Development.
  2. Typical and Atypical Motor Development
  3. Atypical Development
  4. More Books by David A. Sugden

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Recognizing Early Motor Delays as Early as Four and Six Months of Age

Typical and Atypical Motor Development. Selected type: Hardcover. Added to Your Shopping Cart. This is a dummy description. About the Author David Sugden has an academic background in developmental psychology, special education and physical education, his PhD is from the University of California at Los Angeles. This is why they may not qualify to receive services in the developmental areas in which they may be struggling, especially during their school years.

It is important to monitor their progress and especially watch those areas in which they may be developing typically, but lagging a bit behind their peers. Here are a few examples:. It is also quite important to pay attention to children with moderate to severe delays, or who have multiple disabilities. These children are usually identified quite early in life and end up receiving a wide variety of services. The focus of intervention for children with severe developmental delays may be different from intervention for other children.

After the family has received information about intervention support, parents make a decision on what types of services to accept.

That is, at this age, they considered the position of the spoon before adopting an action strategy. Unlike previous studies, the task used was customary for the child, making the previous experience influence the planning of such a task.


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Jovanovic and Schwarzer 19 also found little evidence of planning when assessing children at 18, 24, and 42 months old, although it was noticed that at 42 months some children used strategies such as changing the way of holding the bar to accomplish the task. Jung et al. The task was to take the wooden rod on the table and fit it into a slot on the surface so that the children should carry the rod to the slot. The results showed older children did a more advanced and coordinated spatial planning by making relatively short paths and avoiding unnecessary object rotation.

Regarding other studies with typical children, similarities were observed in relation to ages when the motor planning ability becomes evident. In the studies by Adalbjornsson et al. The authors concluded that the children showed little evidence of planning capacity until six years old. Corroborating these studies, Weigelt and Schack 20 assessed children from three to five years old and noticed gradual improvement in planning capacity, although at five years old this ability had not reached the same levels of an adult yet.

The other studies 9 , 12 , 18 assessed children over six years old and obtained similar results when planning manual motor actions. In these studies, the authors highlight between eight and ten years old this ability reaches the same levels of adults. Jovanovic and Schwarzer 16 investigated how children from 3 and 5 years old and adults around 21 years old performed the task of picking up a bar in a levels shelf.

The task consisted of two phases: first, the participant should take the bar on the middle shelf and put it on another shelf target ; second, the participant should pick up the bar on the target shelf and put it on the starting position from the previous shelf.

A Perception-Action Approach to Understanding Typical and Atypical Motor Development.

In the first phase, weaker influence of the different levels of the shelf were observed on the results of the 3-year-old group when compared with the other age groups. According to the authors, this result is related to the low motor demands. Regarding the second phase, the different levels had greater influence in the groups of 3 and 5 years old, in which the difficulty in returning the object to the starting position was greater. The emergence of the planning ability of manipulative actions according to the end-state comfort seems, therefore, to be related to the sensory motor development.

Some studies show the age period between three and ten years old is considered crucial for the development of motor control as a whole, as it has already been evidenced in literature by both behavioral 22 and neuroimaging studies In this age group, motor and sensory areas develop first, followed by areas of higher order, such as the prefrontal cortex Therefore, it would explain why the planning ability of motor actions develops over sensory motor development.

The six studies found in the literature about planning of motor actions of atypical children are described in Table 2. Similar to the articles of typical children showed in Table 1 , the interesting aspect observed is the year of publication of these studies. The three most recent studies assessed children with cerebral palsy CP , which shows a current interest of the researchers in analyzing the patterns of movements of this population. Just as the studies with typical children, these articles were published in top journals in Physical Education and Psychology, showing impact factor between 2.

Yet, in another study 26 , the authors simultaneously assessed children with autism and children with developmental coordination disorder. In the first study, the task consisted of grasping and transporting a bar upwards or downwards to a holder. Two conditions were tested: the first one was performed unimanually and the second one, bimanually, that is, transporting a bar in each hand. In the second study, the task was to fit a sword in a wooden block, where the sword had been previously placed in different positions, requiring, thus, different ways of grasping to perform the task adequately.

In both studies, the authors did not find evidences of planning of manipulative motor actions, justifying that the children with CP can present problems to visualize their movements before performing the task. These problems would be related to the construction of internal models of motor imagery, that is, the children with CP would present an impairment in the ability to imagine movements before performing them 23 , Moreover, children with hemiplegic CP have an important limitation to control their degrees of freedom, since the presence of spasticity and motor synergies act to make the execution of some movements difficult, such as supination, important to the execution of these manual tasks.

An interesting aspect of the results found in the study by Janssen and Steenbergen 25 is that, when performing the bimanual task, the planning ability of children with CP was greater while performing it with the impaired upper limb. In the study by van Swieten et al. As in this study, the author compares these two groups separately from typical children, we chose to present and discuss the details of each population separately as well.

In the first study, the task was to grab a bar and to rotate it until the final position shown, which required the initial hold to be adopted according to the final position of the bar. In this study, 20 autistic children aged nine to fourteen years old were evaluated, and their performance was similar to that of typical children. Contrarily, the study by Hughes 28 with 36 autistic children, average aged between thirteen and fourteen years old, showed little evidence of planning ability while performing the task of transporting and fitting a wooden bar when compared with typical children.

The different results found in these studies may have been consequence of different tasks to assess autistic children. Similarly, the studies that assessed the planning of motor actions with children with Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD had discrepant results. The study by van Swieten et al. Adams et al.

Typical and Atypical Motor Development

They were evaluated on two tasks: the first was to pick up a sword and to put it in a slot on the box, both on the table. The second task consisted of grabbing a bar in a frame and placing it vertically in a circular holder on the table. The results showed children with DCD planned less for end-state comfort in the task of the sword compared with the control group. However, in the task of grabbing the bar, no significant differences between groups were detected.

Atypical Development

The study shows children with DCD have motor action planning deficits when compared with typical children and that this deficit is task-related. Van Swieten, et al. It was not evident in the study by Smyth and Mason, even assessing a higher number of children. Both studies used similar tasks of rotating a bar placed in a disk according to the final-oriented position; however, in the study by Smyth and Mason 27 , the initial grasping was not controlled, allowing children to perform movements clockwise or anti-clockwise, and in the study by van Swieten et al.

Studies on the planning of motor action of atypical children are still scarce, therefore, it is little conclusive. A broader approach of studies on this topic are necessary, with higher samples of atypical children and methodological standardization to reach a specific conclusion about the subject. The results found evidenced that the planning of motor actions is a characteristic inherent in the child sensory motor development for aggregating not only motor but also cognitive characteristics, and it is enhanced over this development. In typical children, a consensus seems to be reached among the studies found that this ability becomes similar to that of an adult only at around nine to ten years old, although younger children already outline some planning strategies.

In atypical children, determining a specific age for task execution is not possible because there are few studies and few samples are used.

More Books by David A. Sugden

Thus, more studies are necessary, mainly with atypical children, because they will be the baseline to assess the main difficulties of this population, and consequently, to estipulate proper therapeutic actions to stimulate this capacity. Moreover, one highlights that the methodological standardization of the studies will allow a better comparison between the results. Evolutionary roots of motor planning: the end-state comfort effect in lemurs.

J Comp Psychol.

The end-state comfort effect in bimanual grip selection. Herbort O, Butz MV. The continuous end-state comfort effect: weighted integration of multiple biases. Psychol Res. Constraints on grip selection in hemiparetic cerebral palsy: effects of lesional side, end-point accuracy, and context. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. Bernstein N. The co-ordination and regulation of movements. Oxford: Pergamon Press;