Evaluating the effectiveness of different environments on the learning of switching skills in children with severe and profound multiple disabilities

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This exploratory study evaluated the effects of learning switching skills for children with severe and profound multiple disabilities using a multisensory environment and the child's natural environment.

Method: A multiple baseline study was employed to investigate the ability of three pre-school aged children to learn switching skills in different environments, in association with the development of desired behavioural changes. Observational data were collected on the development of switching skills and on psychosocial changes.

Results: The visual inspection of client data revealed improved switching skills with two participants. The third participant, the constant series control, developed switching skills which then decreased; however, significant development in a range of motor and social skills was reported in qualitative interview. Adaptive behaviours improved in all three participants, including behaviours such as reduced frustration and associated crying and eliciting of primitive reflexes.

Conclusion: Qualitative interviews with two parents indicated significant changes to behaviour, with a resultant positive effect on the families, strongly supporting the development of psychosocial skills in children with severe and profound multiple disabilities as a result of development of switching skills.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802210X12865330218186

Publication date: October 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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