The Latest Research: Motor Control, Brain Development, Autism, and More

Keep up With the Most Advanced Research in Your Field

motor control brainBetween managing your caseload, reporting on data, scheduling and scheduling meetings, it’s probably a challenge to stay up to date on the latest research on pediatrics and school-based therapy. Well, we’re here to help! We’ve collected the most recent studies on motor control in children, brain development, behavioral programs, and more. PTS strives to keep up with relevant research developments to help our teams stay updated and applying evidence-based practice in their work.

Toward a Conceptual Framework for Early Brain and Behavior Development in Autism

This study discusses the importance of measuring developmental brain and behavior mechanisms in autism. Early intervention strategies can benefit from gathering these measurements early in life. Recent findings suggest that, while the physiological processes of autism emerge during mid-fetal development, the defining symptoms for high-risk siblings surface late during the first and second years of life.

The authors cite an important neurological study that reviews the brain development of the infant siblings of autistic probands. The siblings studied had brain volume overgrowth in the second year of life. Brain overgrowth is associated with the emergence of autistic social deficits. The authors’ work here ultimately calls for a better understanding of the timing associated with these developments.

School therapists might be interested in learning about the molecular and neurological details of autism reported in this research.

Efficacy of Behavioral Classroom Programs in Primary School. A Meta-Analysis Focusing on Randomized Controlled Trials

motor control brainThis study evaluates the necessity of behavioral classroom programs and how they impact students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD). According to the author’s sources, 20-30% of children who take medication for ADHD suffer from adverse side effects. Likewise, medication for ODD and CD is not recommended except for severe cases. Due to this, non-medicinal interventions are considered optimal for reducing disruptive behavior in children with these conditions.

Previous studies on behavioral classroom programs did not focus on randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which are essential to minimizing biases during research. The authors decided to analyze the available RCTs on the effects of behavioral classroom programs in primary schools. This study reveals teacher-rated and classroom-observed findings on disruptive behavior. It concludes that small, beneficial impacts do arise from monitoring these behaviors in behavioral classroom programs.

Effects of Physical Activity on Motor Skills and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: A Systematic Review

This study examines data from 15 randomized controlled trials that measure the effects of physical activity on the motor skills of children, ages four to six. The authors introduce this subject by acknowledging the importance of physical activity for children, drawing from statistical data and sources. Motor skills, they note, are considered to be linked with cardio fitness, cognition, and self-esteem.

Out of the 10 studies that assessed the connection between physical activity and motor skills, eight observed improvements in motor performance. Of the remaining five studies that focused on the connection between physical activity and cognitive development, four revealed positive outcomes in language learning, academics, attention, and working memory.

While not specific to special education students, this data can serve as background knowledge for therapists looking to combine physical activity and skill development during therapy sessions.

PTS, Inc., reviews and keeps up with the latest research that may benefit the practice of our therapists and related service providers. Integrating high-quality research into training sessions and resources ensures that the school therapists we staff will continually apply the most advanced techniques to their work. Having access to peer-reviewed studies in your field can not only benefit the work you do but can also expand your knowledge and confidence!

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