Monday, May 13, 2013

Social Skills and Early Powered Mobility

Assistive Technology published research on social skills and early powered mobility.  The participants included 23 children with physical disabilities between the ages of 18 months and 6 years of age.  Data was collected at wheelchair evaluation, wheelchair delivery, and approximately 6 months later.   The following results were seen:
  • significant increases were found in parental perceptions of positive social skills for younger children after receiving a wheelchair
  • slightly older children showed improvements in social skills before the wheelchair was received
  • no changes were found in negative social skills
  • parental ratings also indicated a significantly greater difficulty remaining engaged in tasks after receiving a wheelchair
  • a significant increase was noted in the number of mobility activities during indoor free play but no difference was seen in interaction with toys or objects
  • improvement in the qualitative level of outdoor interactive free play was reported but there was no change in verbal interactions. 
Reference: Guerette P, Furumasu J, Tefft D. The positive effects of early powered mobility on children's psychosocial and play skills. Assist Technol. 2013 Spring;25(1):39-48; quiz 49-50.

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