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Paddy C. Favazza, Gary N. Siperstein, Susan A. Zeisel, Samuel L. Odom, John H. Sideris and Andrew L. Moskowitz

This study examined the effectiveness of the Young Athletes program to promote motor development in preschool-aged children with disabilities. In the study, 233 children were randomly assigned to a control group or the Young Athletes (YA) intervention group which consisted of 24 motor skill lessons delivered 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) showed that children who participated in the YA intervention exhibited mean gains of 7–9 months on the Peabody Developmental Motor Subscales (PDMS) compared with mean gains of 3–5 months for the control group. Children in the YA intervention also exhibited significant gains on the gross motor subscale of the Vineland Teacher Rating Form (VTRF). Teachers and parents reported benefits for children not only in specific motor skills, but also kindergarten readiness skills and social/play skills. The necessity for direct and intentional instruction of motor skills, as well as the challenges of involving families in the YA program, are discussed.

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Ali Brian, Sally Taunton, Chelsee Shortt, Adam Pennell and Ryan Sacko

socioeconomic preschool setting (e.g., Head Start) is needed to provide targeted, ecologically valid, intervention strategies. Moreover, further examination of the role of disability and underlying mechanisms for PA in all young children is needed. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in MC, PMC

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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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Margarita D. Tsiros, Emily J. Ward, Sophie Lefmann and Susan Hillier

). Although broadly focused on child development, there are calls for integrated multisector programs that leverage nongovernment sectors to provide accessible services targeting “at-risk” children ( Black et al., 2017 ). With increasing preschool enrollment rates globally (reported to be as high as 86% in

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Carol Mardell-Czudnowski and Dorothea S. Goldenberg

Recent research and legislation in the United States regarding assessment of preschool children have guided the development of the latest version of the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning, DIAL-3. This paper briefly describes the history of this test’s previous two versions (DIAL, 1975 and DIAL-R, 1983, 1990) followed by a description of the research and development of the motor items in DIAL-3. Then DIAL-3 is evaluated, using the key features for selecting an appropriate preschool gross motor assessment instrument (Zittel, 1994). DIAL-3 meets all of the common criteria for a technically adequate screening test.

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James H. Rimmer and Luke E. Kelly

The purpose of this pilot study was to descriptively evaluate the effects of three different programs on the development of gross motor skills of preschool children with learning disabilities (n = 29). No attempt was made to equate the groups or control for differences between the programs or instructional staff. Two of the programs were used by the respective schools to develop the gross motor skills of their audience. The programs were called occupational therapy (OT) (45–60 min/day, 5 days/week) and adapted physical education (APE) (30 min/day, 4 days/week). A third group was evaluated to determine whether maturational effects had any involvement in gross motor development. This group was called the noninstructional program (NIP) (30 min/day, 2 days/week) and was solely involved in free play. The programs were all in session for the entire school year (33–35 weeks). The results of the study revealed that the children in the APE program made more significant gains across objectives, and particularly on the qualitative measures, than did the children in the OT or NIP groups.

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Megan A. Kirk and Ryan E. Rhodes

Preschoolers with developmental delay (DD) are at risk for poor fundamental movement skills (FMS), but a paucity of early FMS interventions exist. The purpose of this review was to critically appraise the existing interventions to establish direction for future trials targeting preschoolers with DD. A total of 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. Major findings were summarized based on common subtopics of overall intervention effect, locomotor skill outcomes, object-control outcomes, and gender differences. Trials ranged from 8 to 24 weeks and offered 540–1700 min of instruction. The majority of trials (n = 9) significantly improved FMS of preschoolers with DD, with a large intervention effect (η2 = 0.57–0.85). This review supports the utility of interventions to improve FMS of preschoolers with DD. Future researchers are encouraged to include more robust designs, a theoretical framework, and involvement of parents and teachers in the delivery of the intervention.

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Lauriece L. Zittel

Accurate gross motor assessment of preschool children with special needs is necessary for quality intervention. This paper will identify critical factors for the selection of a preschool gross motor assessment instrument. Nine commercially available tools that purport to measure gross motor skill are critiqued, in table form, according to identified criteria. The criteria include purpose of the assessment, technical adequacy of the tool, nondiscriminatory factors, administrative ease, instructional link, and ecological validity of the instrument. Key features within each of the criteria will be used to review and analyze each instrument. This review illustrates that assessment tools vary in their ability to meet the assessment needs of preschool children suspected of having motor delays, and such tools therefore must be carefully selected.

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Fiona J. Connor-Kuntz and Gail M. Dummer

Children age 4 to 6 years from special education (n = 26), Head Start (n = 35), and typical preschool classes (n = 11) were assigned to a physical activity intervention or a language-enriched physical activity intervention. Language and motor skill performances were measured before, immediately following, and 3 months following the 24-session, 8-week intervention. Results illustrated that language instruction can be added to physical education lessons without requiring additional instructional time and, more importantly, without compromising improvement in motor skill performance. Further, preschool children exposed to language-enriched physical education improved their language skills regardless of whether their educational progress was characterized by a cognitive and/or language delay. Thus, physical activity appears to be an effective environment in which to enhance the cognitive development of preschool children of all abilities.

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Shannon Titus Dieringer, David L. Porretta and Diane Sainato

The purpose of our study was to determine the effect of music (music with lyrics versus music with lyrics plus instruction) relative to on-task behaviors in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a gross motor setting. Five preschool children (4 boys, 1 girl) diagnosed with ASD served as participants. A multiple baseline across participants in conjunction with an alternating-treatment design was used. For all participants, music with lyrics plus instruction increased on-task behaviors to a greater extent than did music with lyrics. The results of our study provide a better understanding of the role of music with regard to the behaviors of young children with ASD.