Effects of vestibular stimulation on motor development and stereotyped behavior of developmentally delayed children

Abstract

Four developmentally delayed babies were given semicircular canal stimulation in an effort to facilitate their motor and reflex development. Each of the children also exhibited abnormal stereotyped movements. The theory was advanced that these movements are related to motor development and that significant improvements in motor abilities will produce changes in the intensity and/or form of stereotypic responding. Semicircular canal stimulation was provided by rotating the children in a motor-driven chair at a velocity of about 17 rpm for 10 minutes daily over a period of 2 weeks. Standard motor and reflex measures were taken before, during, and after the rotation treatment period. Daily observations were made of the children's stereotyped movements. Over the course of the study all of the children showed motor and/or reflex changes that were attributable to the vestibular stimulation. In addition, some evidence was obtained linking changes in stereotypic responding to the vestibular stimulation.

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Reference note

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This work was supported by PHS Grant Nos.HD15051 and HD13344.

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MacLean, W.E., Baumeister, A.A. Effects of vestibular stimulation on motor development and stereotyped behavior of developmentally delayed children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 10, 229–245 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00915943

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Keywords

  • Treatment Period
  • Semicircular Canal
  • Stereotyped Behavior
  • Motor Development
  • Daily Observation