A microswitch-based programme to enable a boy with multiple disabilities and minimal motor behaviour to choose among environmental stimuli
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Lancioni, G and Singh, N and O'Reilly, M and Sigafoos, J and Oliva, D and Antonucci, M, A microswitch-based programme to enable a boy with multiple disabilities and minimal motor behaviour to choose among environmental stimuli, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1, (3) pp. 205-208. ISSN 1748-3115 (2006) [Refereed Article]
Purpose. The present study assessed a microswitch-based programme designed to enable a nine-year-old boy with multiple disabilities and minimal motor behaviour to choose among environmental stimuli. Method. The programme relied on the boy's eyebrow movements, a microswitch to detect such movements, and a computer system to handle sets of allegedly preferred and non-preferred stimuli. For each of the 30 stimuli available in every session, the computer system provided a sample/preview of 2 - 3 seconds. During intervention, the boy's responding to a stimulus sample (i.e., moving the eyebrow and activating the microswitch) led the computer system to turn on that stimulus for 25 seconds. The boy's lack of responding led the computer system to present the next stimulus sample. Results. Intervention data showed that the boy's choice making (i.e., responding to a stimulus sample or avoiding to do so) was largely consistent with the alleged preference value of the stimuli, that is, he tended to choose the stimuli that were considered preferred and to bypass those considered non-preferred for him. The same performance was maintained during post-intervention checks, occurring 6 and 10 weeks after the end of the intervention, and over sets of stimuli not used during the intervention. Conclusions. The present microswitch-based programme may be considered useful to allow students with multiple disabilities an active choice (control) role in a stimulation-enriched environment. © 2006 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved.
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