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Emily Bremer and Meghann Lloyd

The purpose of this pilot study was to demonstrate the impact of a fundamentalmotor-skill (FMS) intervention on the motor skills of 3- to 7-year-old children with autism-like characteristics in an early intervention classroom. A secondary purpose was to qualitatively assess the impact of the program as described by the classroom’s special education teacher. All children in the classroom (N = 5) took part in an FMS intervention for two 6-wk blocks (fall 2013 and winter 2014). Motor-skill proficiency and social skills were assessed at 3 times: baseline, after Block 1 of the intervention, and after Block 2 of the intervention. In addition, an interview was conducted with the classroom teacher after Assessment 3 to draw further insights into the relative success and impact of the program. Results were analyzed through a visual analysis and presented individually. They indicated improvements in the participants’ individual FMS and social-skill scores, possible improvements in declarative knowledge, and an increase in the special education teacher’s readiness to teach FMS; further research with larger, controlled samples is warranted.

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Simon Rice, Matt Butterworth, Matti Clements, Daniel Josifovski, Sharyn Arnold, Cecily Schwab, Kerryn Pennell and Rosemary Purcell

administrators occupying leadership roles in sport and youth mental health and early intervention in mental health sectors, and the authors draw on these experiences as the case is explicated. An international lens is also offered, as the authors bring experience in global mental health initiatives including a

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Janet L. Hauck, Isabella T. Felzer-Kim and Kathryn L. Gwizdala

 al., 2013 ). In addition, it appears that tracking may also be modified through early intervention, as infants with DS who participated in a supported stepping program increased their voluntary PA and also maintained such increases after the program’s end ( Angulo-Barroso et al., 2008 ). Physical activity

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Anna K. Melin, Ida A. Heikura, Adam Tenforde and Margo Mountjoy

and fuel availability around key training sessions and an adequate protein intake. Screening and education with focus on nutrition to maintain optimal EA are important for early intervention and management. Novelty and Practical Application Statement The prevalence of LEA and related clinical

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Megan MacDonald, Catherine Lord and Dale A. Ulrich

In addition to the core characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), motor skill deficits are present, persistent, and pervasive across age. Although motor skill deficits have been indicated in young children with autism, they have not been included in the primary discussion of early intervention content. One hundred fifty-nine young children with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD (n = 110), PDD-NOS (n = 26), and non-ASD (n = 23) between the ages of 14–33 months participated in this study.1 The univariate general linear model tested the relationship of fine and gross motor skills and social communicative skills (using calibrated autism severity scores). Fine motor and gross motor skills significantly predicted calibrated autism severity (p < .05). Children with weaker motor skills have greater social communicative skill deficits. Future directions and the role of motor skills in early intervention are discussed.

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Carol A. Leitschuh and John M. Dunn

The purpose was to determine predictors of the gross motor development quotient of the Test of Gross Motor Development (Ulrich, 1985) for young children prenatally exposed to cocaine/polydrugs. Data were collected on 11 variables hypothesized to influence young children’s development. Participants were 28 children (15 males, 13 females), ages 3 to 6 years, exposed prenatally to cocaine/polydrugs and their nonbiological mothers (i.e., primary care providers). Multiple regression procedures indicated support for the hypothesis that the gross motor development quotient is predicted by the interaction of the child’s effortful control, the primary care provider’s understanding and confidence, and the amount of early intervention service the child received. Correlational analysis supported the hypothesis that with this group of children, early motor skill did not predict delay in the gross motor development quotient at ages 3 to 6 years.

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Megan MacDonald, Samantha Ross, Laura Lee McIntyre and Amanda Tepfer

Young children with developmental disabilities experience known deficits in salient child behaviors, such as social behaviors, communication, and aspects of daily living, behaviors that generally improve with chronological age. The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating effects of motor skills on relations of age and salient child behaviors in a group of young children with developmental disabilities, thus tapping into the potential influences of motor skills in the development of salient child behaviors. One hundred thirteen young children with developmental disabilities participated in this study. Independent mediation analysis, with gender as a moderator between the mediating and outcome variable, indicated that motor skills meditated relations between age and socialization, communication, and daily living skills in young male children with developmental disabilities, but not female participants. Findings suggest motor skill content needs to be considered in combination with other child behaviors commonly focused on in early intervention.

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Megan MacDonald, Bridget Hatfield and Erica Twardzik

The hallmark characteristics of a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are deficits in social communicative skills and the use of repetitive and/or stereotyped behaviors. In addition, children with ASD experience known motor-skill delays. The purpose of this study was to examine salient child behaviors of young children with and without ASD in 2 distinctly different play settings: a traditional social-play-based setting and a motor-behavior-based play setting. Child behavior (engagement toward parent, negativity, and attention) and dyad characteristics (connectedness) were examined in 2 distinctly different play settings. Results indicated that children with ASD performed more like their peers without ASD in a social-play-based setting and less like their peers in a motor-behavior-based play setting. Aspects of our results shed light on the critical need to develop creative methods of early intervention that combine efforts in all aspects of child development, including motor-skill development.

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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.