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The hidden disorder: Unique treatment proposed for children's neurological disorder
Date:11/25/2012

visually represented on a computer screen. Forces such as magnetic attraction and friction can be applied to the path and adjusted so participants could actually feel a surface that changed as the parameters were altered.

The study compared the progress of a group of eight 7- to 8-year-olds with DCD to a group of eight 7- to 8-year-old typically developing children in a three-dimensional tracing game. The task was to push a brightly colored fish along a visible path on a computer screen from the starting location to the finish point while racing a competitor fish.

The training started with the highest level of magnetic attraction, slowest competitor and shortest path. The goal of the training was to allow the children to progress at their own pace through the different combinations and levels of attraction, paths and competitors.

THE CHILDREN'S 'CATCH-22'

As Bingham's collaborator Winona Snapp-Childs, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, explains, the particular challenge facing children with DCD is a "Catch-22" situation. Children must first be able to approximate a movement by actively generating it themselves before they can improve it through practice and repetition. But because children with DCD have been unable to produce this initial movement, they have been unable to improve their skills.

The technology provided the tool needed to overcome this impasse. It gave both the support needed to produce the movement, as well as the flexibility to let children actively generate the movement themselves. It allowed the children to do what they otherwise could not do: produce the requisite initial movements that could then be practiced to yield quantitative improvements.

The researchers say the technology could potentially be widely accessible: It can be used without a therapist and is portable enough to be put in clinics, classrooms or the home. It can also be adj
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Contact: Liz Rosdeitcher
rosdeitc@indiana.edu
812-855-4507
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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