Improving spatial functioning in children with cerebral palsy using computerized and traditional game tasks.

Akhutina, Tat'yana and Foreman, Nigel and Krichevets, Anatoly and Matikka, Leena and Narhi, Vesa and Pylaeva, Natalia and Vahakuopus, Jelena (2003) Improving spatial functioning in children with cerebral palsy using computerized and traditional game tasks. Disability & Rehabilitation, 25 (24). pp. 1361-1371. ISSN 0963-8288

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Purpose: To examine the effectiveness of combining virtual environment (VE) instruction with additional desk-top tasks, based on the Luria-Vygotsky methodology, for spatial remediation in children having complex motor disabilities restricting movement. Method: In Experiment 1, from among children attending for residential rehabilitation, an experimental subgroup had additional spatial training using a VE and corresponding desk-top models. All children were tested at the start and end of training, using four spatial tests. In Experiment 2, larger groups of children (pair-matched for initial performance) were given the same training as in Experiment 1, but experimentals received both VE-based training and supporting tasks designed to improve executive functions and verbal regulation of spatial functioning. Assessment involved a wider range of tests than in Experiment 1. Results: In Experiment 1, both groups showed improvement at retest, but experimentals showed greater improvement. Children beginning with the lowest level of cognitive performance failed to benefit from the additional training. In Experiment 2 the experimental group made significantly greater improvement than controls, irrespective of initial performance level. Conclusions: VE-based spatial training is effective for children with complex disabilities, particularly when combined with training that remediates cognitive weaknesses.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. > School of Health and Education
Citations on ISI Web of Science:12
ID Code:3047
Deposited On:13 Nov 2009 05:16
Last Modified:05 Oct 2015 15:49

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