Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


KIDDS Report Summary

Project ID: 630038
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - KIDDS (Kinematic Identification of Developmental Disorders)

The project objective was to exploit technological advances to develop novel assessment and therapeutic tools to identify and treat children with developmental disorders on a scale that was previously impossible. The Fellow’s personal objective was to enhance her research skills and achieve the publications necessary for her to achieve the position of Senior Lecturer within the next four years.

The overall aim of this research was to identify children with developmental disorders, in order to improve their academic achievement and quality of life (by enabling daily living activities). Particularly, this study intended: 1. To identify children with developmental disorders, such as developmental coordination disorder. 2. To profile in detail children that have movement difficulties. 3. To ascertain how these difficulties influence activities of daily living and/or academic performance. 4. To ascertain what behavioural and emotional characteristics are associated with low and high movement skills. 5. To elaborate an individual intervention plan for each child including recommendations for parents/teachers. 6. To implement an intervention programme with each child. 7. To make identification and intervention in developmental disorders guidelines and tools available to practitioners across Europe.

The research training objectives were to acquire new knowledge/skills about: 1. Cognitive and motor assessment instruments. 2. Identification of learning difficulties/impairments. 3. Intervention methods. 4. Design of new intervention methods.

The complementary objectives were to improve: 1. Presentation and Writing skills in English. 2. Teaching and Mentoring/supervising. 3. Management-Leadership skills and Independent thinking. 4. Effectiveness. 5. Working in collaboration skills, including Team Working and Communication skills.

WP-Milestone 1. Schools screening: The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) checklist-2, a questionnaire for the assessment of the movement competence of children, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-SDQ were completed by the teachers of 515 pupils (4-11 years) of 10 schools in Bradford (UK).
WP-Milestone 2. Assessment of motor skills: Scores lower than 15th percentile on M-ABC checklist-2 were interpreted as a possible coordination disorder; the identified children were assessed on four objective measures of motor skills: the Clinical Kinematic Assessment Tool (CKAT), the Kinematic Handwriting Test, the Wii Balance Board, and the M-ABC-2 Test.
WP-Milestone 3. Implementation of the intervention: Children detected as having any movement disorder received the Ecological Intervention (EI). The overriding principle underpinning EI is that the success of an intervention programme is a function of the dynamic interaction between: the child, the environment and the task.
The strategies for the teaching of movement skills used were: 1.Task analysis: a) Ways to simplify planning requirements; b) Ways to make it easier to execute the required movements; and; c) Ways to modify the evaluation requirements; 2. Task adaptation: change equipment and rules of the games; and 3. Expert scaffolding: a) Personal assistance and support; and b) Equipment modification.
Each child received 2 training sessions a week. Each session lasted 20 minutes during 6 months.
Children identified as having manual-coordination difficulties (< 5th percentile on scores on CKAT, Handwriting Test and/or Manual Dexterity component of the M-ABC-2) received the Robot-assisted intervention, besides the Ecological Intervention (for the training of manual-coordination).
In addition to the ones expected, other WP-Milestones were the involvement of the fellow in: 1. The identification of deaf children with motor impairment (N=7), assessment of motor skills and implementation of individual intervention in a special school for deaf children in South Shields (UK). 2. The conduction of a systematic review of motor skill programs for children with developmental coordination disorder. 3. The development of four booklets for the training of motor skills: fine motor learning skills (for teachers and parents) and gross motor learning skills (for teachers and parents). 4. The organization of the 6th Biennial Developmental Coordination Disorder UK conference.

The main result of the fellowship was the establishment of reliable techniques for the identification of children with motor impairment and the implementation of individual interventions. This proof of concept resulted in 37 children receiving intensive intervention (7 of them with deafness). The work has led to the adoption of a large scale programme of work in the city of Bradford, involving the testing of 20,000 children.
Other beneficial results for the fellow were the acquisition of new knowledge/skills about Cognitive and motor assessment instruments, Identification of learning difficulties/impairments, Intervention methods, and Design of new intervention methods (Research training objectives). The fellow also significantly improved the following skills: Presentation and Writing skills in English (she disseminated the results of the research in four conferences and was involved in the preparation of three scientific papers); Teaching and Mentoring/supervising (within the School of Education at the University of Leeds, she has contributed to the teaching and assessment of EDUC5812 Developmental Disorder II: Autism and ADHD, being responsible for 50% of the teaching, tutorial support and assessment of this 30 credit module); and Management-Leadership skills-Working team (she was part of the organization and scientific committee of a national conference). (Complementary objectives). Finally, the fellow has achieved the position of Senior Lecturer (personal aim).

A large number of children and adults throughout the European Union experience major disruption to their lives due to problems in movement control. People with disability are considerably disadvantaged as a result of inadequate treatments to alleviate loss of function. This creates major financial consequences arising from the need for long term care following loss of independence as well as loss of income for EU states in terms of reduced employment days in adults of working age with disability. Robot-assisted therapies are one class of intervention which shows particular promise. The persistent nature of children with motor impairments in around one-half of individuals first diagnosed in childhood emphasizes the importance of targeted intervention. This project has helped to the elucidation of the benefits of robot-assisted therapies. The PI of this project, Prof. Mark Mon-Williams, in collaboration with Professor Snapp-Childs, holds the patent of the Robot-assisted therapy. And the patent of the Ecological Intervention is held by the co-supervisor of this project, Professor Sugden, in collaboration with Prof. Henderson. No other groups in Europe are carrying out objective identification and robotic treatment of motor impairments on this scale. Therefore, this project has addressed key priority areas, opening European research to the world. The ultimate beneficiaries of this project have been children with developmental disorders when the implementation of the most suitable intervention method relating to this work has been transferred to each child profile and characteristics. I strongly believe this novel has contributed to European excellence, strengthening the European leadership position in intervention in developmental disorders.

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