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  • Author: Jo E. Cowden x
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Jennifer Wright and Jo E. Cowden

Although It has been said that Special Olympics competition contributes significantly to the physical fitness and self-concept of mentally retarded participants, no experimental research has been reported on the Special Olympics program. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in self-concept and cardiovascular endurance of mentally retarded youths after participating in a Special Olympics swim training program. One group (N = 25) participated in a 10-week Special Olympics swim training program, while the control group (N = 25) adhered to their normal daily living activities. The 9-Minute Run/Walk test yielded the data for measuring cardiovascular endurance, and the Piers and Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale was selected to measure self-concept. Results of the analysis of variance for each test were significant. It was concluded from the findings of this study that participation of mentally retarded youth in a Special Olympics swim training program contributed to a significant increase in self-concept and cardiovascular endurance.

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Jo E. Cowden and Carol C. Torrey

The ROADMAP (Role of Assessment Directed Movements, Actions, and Patterns) Model is presented, providing a plan of action for the adapted motor developmentalist (AMD) to assess the motor actions of young children. The emerging specialty area of the AMD requires new areas of proficiency, which are described in the ROADMAP Model. The model defines and describes inputs, processes, products, outputs, and outcomes as they relate to the process of assessment. The role of the adapted motor developmentalist as a key member in the inter- or transdisciplinary assessment process is discussed. Additionally, selected motor assessment instruments are suggested for use by the AMD.

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Jo E. Cowden and Carol C. Torrey

The purpose of this study was to investigate performance of developmentally delayed preschoolers on intramodal and intermodal matching tasks in the visual and haptic modalities. The performance of these preschoolers was compared with the learning profile of handicapped children. Further analysis determined the relationship between performance on intra- and intermodal matching tasks and scores on visual motor integration and cognitive matching. Eighteen developmentally delayed preschoolers from ages 3.4 years to 5.11 were involved in four matching conditions: visual-visual, haptic-haptic (intramodal), visual-haptic, and haptic-visual (intermodal). Results of this study indicated that accuracy in all modalities increased as chronological age increased. The learning profile of developmentally delayed preschoolers differed from that of nonhandicapped children: the delayed children scored highest on the haptic-visual task, with the visual-haptic and visual-visual scores only slightly lower, but the haptic-haptic scores markedly lower. No meaningful relationship was apparent between performance in the four modalities and cognitive matching and visual motor integration.

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Jo E. Cowden and Bobby L. Eason

PL 99-457 and PL 101-176 have presented a new challenge for adapted physical education. Federal legislation has provided financial incentive for states to increase the intensity and duration of early intervention programs for the infant/toddler/preschool child with disabilities (ITPCD). The present article proposes a conceptual framework for a new subfield, pediatric adapted physical education (PAPE). The origins and essence of federal legislation affecting infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is explained. Because the legislation requires a multi-agency/multidisciplined approach, the role of adapted physical education within the larger context is explained, as is the professional preparation of practitioners of the new subfield. Finally, one state’s initiative is explained to serve as an action plan for other adapted physical education leaders.

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Jo E. Cowden and Carol C. Torrey

This study set out to determine toy preference and use of isolate versus social toys in specific play categories. The relationship of children’s gross motor abilities to their preference for gross motor toys and of fine motor abilities to preference for fine motor toys was also examined. Additionally, the study examined the level of social versus nonsocial play behavior according to the Parten Scale of Social Participation. Twenty-four handicapped preschool children in groups of four to six were involved in three 20-min free-play sessions. Spontaneous interactions with the toys as well as among children were videotaped. Results indicated that the children did prefer to play with social toys rather than isolate toys, but play was nonsocial rather than social and occurred during 83% of the free unstructured play intervals. The children did not demonstrate a distinct relationship between gross or fine motor ability and toy preference. However, environmental or ecological variables appeared to influence their social play behaviors.

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Jo E. Cowden, Jennifer Wright and Sue A. Gant

Litigation has been a major reason for the expansion of services in physical education and recreation for handicapped individuals. Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped children Act, 1975, mandated that physical education was an instructional service to be included in the child’s individual education program. Progress has been made throughout the nation in program implementation, however, educators are often met with strong opposition regarding certification standards, endorsements, or competency based plans to improve delivery of services. This recent class action suit has major implications for the rights of handicapped individuals and improvement of service delivery systems. The purpose of this article is to review the civil suit and to describe the changes which have occurred in services for the handicapped with specific emphasis on adapted physical education, recreation, and leisure.

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L. Kristi Sayers, Jo E. Cowden and Claudine Sherrill

The purpose of the study was to analyze parents’ perceptions of their participation in a university-directed, parent-implemented, home-based pediatric strength intervention program as (a) one approach to evaluating the effectiveness of a program conducted over a 4-year period with families of infants and toddlers with Down syndrome and (b) a means of deriving guidelines for future early intervention programs. Participants were 22 parents from 11 families of children with Down syndrome; the children ranged in age from 6 to 42 months. Participatory evaluation research, semistructured audio recorded home interviews, and qualitative content analysis were used. The results indicated that the parents (a) perceived themselves as being empowered to implement the program, (b) perceived their expectations about improved motor development of their children had been met, and (c) perceived the program was worthwhile. The parents’ perceptions provided meaningful evaluation data that enabled the development of guidelines for future pediatric strength intervention programs.

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L. Kristi Sayers, Jo E. Cowden, Maria Newton, Barbara Warren and Bobby Eason

The purpose of this study was to describe the developmental stepping movements of 5 infants with Down syndrome who participated in a pediatric strength intervention. Pretest and posttest data were collected with the Hawaii Early Learning Profile Strands, Battelle Developmental Inventory, and specially designed gait analysis. An 8-week individualized pediatric strength intervention was implemented according to theoretical principles of progressive interactive facilitation (Cowden, in press). Posttest data and the Snyder-McLean (1987) intervention developmental quotient suggested an increase in the subjects’ rates of motor development during intervention as compared to their lifetime rates prior to intervention. One subject showed increased rate and distance, 2 subjects acquired independent upright locomotion, and 1 subject established independent sitting movements and creeping patterns. One subject was unable to complete the study.

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Allen W. Burton, Marcel Bouffard, Jo E. Cowden, Diane H. Craft, Patrick DiRocco, Mark E. Nierengarten and Terry L. Rizzo