Abstract

Therapeutic methods that use facilitation and inhibition to alter dysfunctional patterns of movement were implemented in children with multiple handicaps within educational settings. Desired movement patterns such as reach and manipulation skills were performed by students throughout the classroom day and across a variety of contextual uses. Data collected on several students indicated that more normal patterns of movement were attained at more rapid rates where students were provided the opportunity to practice the desired movement more frequently. Successful contextual programming depends on accurate and consistent implementation of therapeutic methods by all individuals who come in contact with a student. The therapist must identify the targeted movement pattern, determine appropriate intervention procedures, and train others to implement the procedures accurately. While such an approach shows promise as a means of developing function movement patterns with severely handicapped children, the increased opportunities to practice appropriate movement enhance the effectiveness of direct therapy but do not necessarily replace required individual intervention.

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