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Voluntary cycling improves maladaptive behaviors in adolescents with Down syndrome

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This research study examined the effects of assisted cycling using a stationary recumbent bicycle that had an internal motor to help participants pedal at a desired cadence. The participants were either placed in an Assisted Cycling (AC), Voluntary Cycling (VC),

This research study examined the effects of assisted cycling using a stationary recumbent bicycle that had an internal motor to help participants pedal at a desired cadence. The participants were either placed in an Assisted Cycling (AC), Voluntary Cycling (VC), or No Cycling (NC) intervention group. Those placed in the AC of VC groups then came to a laboratory setting 3 days a week for 8 weeks to cycle for 30 minutes. This research specifically analyzes the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale II to analyze the changes in daily living skills and maladaptive behaviors pre and post the exercise intervention. After analyzing the VABS II scores it was found that those in the VC intervention had statistically significant improvements in maladaptive behaviors. An interpretation of this finding is that the VC intervention had an increased heart rate over the span of the intervention and had a larger power output than those in the AC group. A limitation of this research is that it was a self-reported questionnaire that was given to the caregivers of the participant. The caregivers were not always controlled for, so in some cases two different caregivers were given the questionnaire for a single participant. A suggestion for future research would be to use the participant's mental age versus their chronological age when using the VABS-II and to use the Adaptive Behaviors Assessment System III (ABAS-III).

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2015-05

The Effects of Ballet Specific Training on Balance in Young Individuals with Down syndrome

Description

The genetic disorder Down syndrome (DS), clinically known as Trisomy 21, is characterized by the presence of either a part or full extra copy of chromosome 21. When compared with children of typical development, children with DS consistently score lower

The genetic disorder Down syndrome (DS), clinically known as Trisomy 21, is characterized by the presence of either a part or full extra copy of chromosome 21. When compared with children of typical development, children with DS consistently score lower on gross motor skill tasks. Balance specifically is one of the hardest skills for individuals with DS (especially
children) to acquire, and neglecting to train balance early on can predispose individuals with DS to further movement instabilities, injuries, social struggles from activity limitations, and an overall lack of independence. One of the more unique forms of physical activity that requires a large amount of both static and dynamic balance is ballet. Dance-specific therapy has been shown to improve gross motor control functioning and specifically balance in a variety of populations with neuromuscular condions, but the research around ballet-specific therapy for those with DS is lacking. The purpose of this pilot study was to further investigate the effects of ballet-specific training on balance ability and general motor functioning in young students with DS as measured by the Four Square Step Test (FSST), Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS), and the gross and fine motor domains of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale lll (VABS lll). It was hypothesized that participation in the 6-week summer cohort of Ballet Arizona’s Adaptive Dance Program would lead to improved scores on the PBS and VABS lll and decreased test times in the FSST. Improvements were observed for all measures for both participants (sample size n=2), except for P1's FSST, which increased in post-testing by 2.25s. Due to the study design, no conclusive statements can be made about whether the ballet program was responsible for the improvements observed in post-testing. More rigorous research with larger sample sizes (>30) is warranted to more fully understand the impact of an adapted ballet program on the balance ability of young individuals with DS. However, the program is still recommended for young individuals with DS because of the benefits it provides outside of motor skill development.

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2022-12