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Fostering Locomotion Fluency of Five Adolescents with Rett Syndrome through a Microswitch-Based Program: Contingency Awareness and Social Rating

  • Fabrizio Stasolla
  • Alessandro O. Caffò
  • Viviana Perilli
  • Adele Boccasini
  • Rita Damiani
  • Fiora D’Amico
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

We further extended the use of a microswitch-based program for assessing contingency awareness and promoting locomotion fluency of five adolescents with Rett syndrome. A second goal was to evaluate the effectiveness and the suitability of the rehabilitative intervention on participants’ indices of happiness as outcome measure of their quality of life and on the reduction of their stereotypic behaviors. Finally, a social validation procedure involving 40 parents of children with severe developmental disabilities and 40 caregivers was carried out. The study was conducted according to an ABABCBCB experimental sequence for each participant, with A representing baselines, B indicating the contingent intervention closely linked to the adaptive responding, and C reporting a non-contingent control phase with positive stimulation occurring throughout the session, irrespective of the adaptive behavior. Results showed an improved performance for all the participants during contingent intervention phases. The control phases revealed that all participants acquired the contingency awareness. The indices of happiness increased as sign of an enhanced quality of life. Both groups of raters favorably scored the use of such technology. Clinical, practical, and psychological implications of the findings were discussed.

Keywords

Rett syndrome Microswitches Locomotion Contingency awareness Social validation 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of the article. Authors identifying information are available on the title page.

Ethical Approval

All performed procedures of the study have been carried out in accordance with Helsinki Declaration (1964) and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained for all the recruited participants by their legal representatives (i.e., their parents).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of the article. The authors alone are responsible for the content and the writing of the article.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Educational Sciences, Psychology, CommunicationUniversity of BariBariItaly
  3. 3.Villa Argento Medical Care Center, Modugno & AlberobelloAlberobelloItaly

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