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An Abilities-Based Approach to Service Delivery and Professional Preparation in Adapted Physical Activity

Claudia Emes, Patti Longmuir, and Peter Downs

Adapted physical activity professionals have embraced for some time the concept of a nonmedical model; however, traditional approaches in service delivery continue to exist. Abilities-based is not a model for service delivery; it is an approach that offers a new perspective that is based on person-centerdness, openness, and compatibility. The focus is on the person in a learning situation, not the disability, not the activity, and not the environment. Although these factors cannot be ignored, emphasis in an ability-based approach shifts to the person. Attitude within and toward service delivery is the critical point of departure in the abilities-based approach. This article discusses demystifying disability and building positive attitudes as features of this approach. It then discusses the influence of this approach on how we prepare future professionals of adapted physical activity, and it concludes with an example of an abilities-based program.

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The Effects of Swim Training on Respiratory Aspects of Speech Production in Adolescents With Down Syndrome

Amanda Faith Casey and Claudia Emes

Reduced respiratory muscle strength in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) may affect speech respiratory variables such as maximum phonation duration (MPD), initiation volume, and expired mean airflow. Researchers randomly assigned adolescents with DS (N = 28) to either 12 weeks of swim training (DS-ST) or a control group (DS-NT). Repeated measures MANOVA demonstrated a significant increase in MPD for DS-ST participants from pretest to posttest, t(11) = –3.44, p = 0.006, that was not maintained at follow-up, t(11) = 6.680, p < .001. No significant change was observed for DS-NT participants across time, F(2, 11) = 4.20, p = 0.044. The lack of long-term change in DS-ST participants may be related to the relatively short training period.

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An Activity Based Weight Control Program

Claudia Emes, Beth Velde, Mary Moreau, Douglas D. Murdoch, and Rebecca Trussell

Two methods of introducing obese adolescents to aerobic exercise were compared. A fast-start group began with five aerobic sessions per week and gradually reduced these to three over a period of 12 weeks. A slow-start group began with one per week and gradually increased to three. A control group had an equivalent amount of time in interactive group sessions and nonaerobic activity. The program was assessed by physical fitness, anthropometry, and attendance. Results were analyzed by multivariate analysis. The method of introducing exercise to the subjects produced no significant differences on measures of fitness or anthropometry. Significant effects for time were shown for strength, push-ups, body mass index, the sum of five skinfolds, gluteal and abdominal circumferences, weight, and percent overweight. Significant differences in the absenteeism rates were shown among groups. However, no relationship was found between absenteeism and changes in weight or overall fitness levels.