Congruent feedback is an excellent tool to help children learn and improve motor skills. Here is how it works - decide upon one step or motion of the skill that you and the child thinks needs improvement or refinement. Tell the child exactly what you are looking for during the skill. It should only be one thing. Provide a visual demonstration of that one aspect of the skill. Once the child is performing the skill only look at that step or motion during the skill and reinforce it if it is correct. Reinforce with consistent verbal cues. If it is incorrect, provide verbal, visual or physical cues to correct that part of the skill. Continue doing this for different parts of the skill. But remember, only focus on one (1) part of the skill at a time.
For example, perhaps you are teaching or practicing skipping with a child. Ask the child to focus on just one aspect of the skill at a time. To begin with ask the child to "step and hop, step and hop". Only provide feedback on lower extremity motion. Do not provide feedback on arm swing, timing, rhythm of movement or speed. When the child is able to perform the lower extremity motions of skipping correctly, target a new area of the skill.
To repeat the steps of congruent feedback:
1. Tell the child what aspect of the skill he/she will focus on.
2. Provide a visual demonstration with verbal cue for the child.
3. Child performs the skill and observe only that aspect of the skill you demonstrated or discussed.
4. Provide positive reinforcement feedback if correct. Be specific with the positive reinforcement. Don't just say "good job". Use the same verbal cues from the specific task.
5, If incorrect, provide verbal, visual or physical cues as feedback regarding only that one aspect of the skill.
Have you had success using this type of feedback?
25+ Bilateral Coordination Exercises is a collection of bilateral coordination exercise sheets including QR codes with links to video demonstration of exercises. Find out more at http://www.yourtherapysource.com/bilateralcoordination.html