Research on obstacle avoidance ability of children with developmental disorders and normal children <Summaries of the Doctoral Theses>
The problem of children with developmental disorders bumping into obstacles has previously been evaluated using tests such as the human drawing test, posture-imitation test, observation of posture and motion, and desktop test, but these have not made clear the cause of the problem. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct 5 experiments aimed at elucidating why children with developmental disorders bump into obstacles.
Participants in all experiments included 9 healthy children and 9 children with developmental disorders who had been diagnosed with attention deficithyperactivity disorder or Asperger's syndrome, aged 5-6.
Experiment 1 involved a passing-under movement task to test obstacle avoidance, and found that children with developmental disorders bumped into obstacles more frequently than healthy children when performing passing-under movements.
Experiment 2 compared children with developmental disorders and healthy children in 6 categories of gross motor abilities, and did not find a significant difference between children with developmental disorders and healthy children for any category. This suggested that the higher frequency at which children with developmental disorders bump into obstacles is not simply the result of underdeveloped gross motor abilities.
Experiment 3 compared the stabilometry of children with developmental disorders and healthy children, and found similar results when the children had their eyes open, but a significant difference between the two groups when children had their eyes closed. This demonstrated that children with developmental disorders more frequently touch obstacles when placed in a situation in which they cannot make use of visual feedback.
Experiment 4 involved human figure drawing and posture-imitation testing to evaluate body images obtained from traditional rehabilitation assessment, and found that while children with developmental disorders and healthy children performed similarly on human-figure drawing, there was a significant difference between the two groups on posture-imitation tests. But, it was not possible to show whether the problem in posture imitation was one of perception or movement.
Experiment 5 compared the children with developmental disorders and healthy children' s visual discrimination of bar height and ability to estimate whether it was possible to pass under the bars without crouching the bars, it was found that children with developmental disorders and healthy children performed similarly on visual discrimination tests. But, children with developmental disorders fall behind healthy children in their ability to use body images to estimate passing-under movements.
The above results indicate that because children with developmental disorders, in comparison to healthy children, experience delayed development in the integration of sensory information, postural control is very difficult without visual-control predominance, and it is difficult for them to make estimations of the possibility of avoiding physical contact with obstacles based on body image. We think it is important to have the children with developmental disorders spontaneously interact with their environment through various types of play, and develop their own body images.
Bulletin of the Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. I, Studies in human sciences
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
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Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences