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Research Article  |   September 1984
Therapeutic Programming for Students with Severe Handicaps
Author Affiliations
  • Philippa H. Campbell, OTR/L, PhD, is Director of Research and Training, Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, Akron, OH 44308
  • William F. McInerney, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606
  • Margaret A. Cooper, MS, is Coordinator, School Age Services Project, Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, Akron, OH 44308
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / School-Based Practice / Features
Research Article   |   September 1984
Therapeutic Programming for Students with Severe Handicaps
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 1984, Vol. 38, 594-602. doi:10.5014/ajot.38.9.594
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 1984, Vol. 38, 594-602. doi:10.5014/ajot.38.9.594
Abstract

Therapeutic methods that use facilitation and inhibition to alter dysfunctional patterns of movement were implemented in children with multiple handicaps within educational settings. Desired movement patterns such as reach and manipulation skills were performed by students throughout the classroom day and across a variety of contextual uses. Data collected on several students indicated that more normal patterns of movement were attained at more rapid rates where students were provided the opportunity to practice the desired movement more frequently. Successful contextual programming depends on accurate and consistent implementation of therapeutic methods by all individuals who come in contact with a student. The therapist must identify the targeted movement pattern, determine appropriate intervention procedures, and train others to implement the procedures accurately. While such an approach shows promise as a means of developing function movement patterns with severely handicapped children, the increased opportunities to practice appropriate movement enhance the effectiveness of direct therapy but do not necessarily replace required individual intervention.