Walker devices and microswitch technology to enhance assisted indoor ambulation by persons with multiple disabilities: Three single-case studies

Giulio E. Lancioni, Nirbhay N. Singh, Mark F. O'Reilly, Jeff Sigafoos, Doretta Oliva, Francesca Campodonico, Serafino Buono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

These three single-case studies assessed the use of walker devices and microswitch technology for promoting ambulation behavior among persons with multiple disabilities. The walker devices were equipped with support and weight lifting features. The microswitch technology ensured that brief stimulation followed the participants' ambulation responses. The participants were two children (i.e., Study I and Study II) and one man (i.e., Study III) with poor ambulation performance. The ambulation efforts of the child in Study I involved regular steps, while those of the child in Study II involved pushing responses (i.e., he pushed himself forward with both feet while sitting on the walker's saddle). The man involved in Study III combined his poor ambulation performance with problem behavior, such as shouting or slapping his face. The results were positive for all three participants. The first two participants had a large increase in the number of steps/pushes performed during the ambulation events provided and in the percentages of those events that they completed independently. The third participant improved his ambulation performance as well as his general behavior (i.e., had a decline in problem behavior and an increase in indices of happiness). The wide-ranging implications of the results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2191-2199
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Ambulation
  • Indices of happiness
  • Microswitch technology
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Problem behavior
  • Walker devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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