The purpose of the present study was to develop and evaluate a checklist for motor coordination problems in preschool children. The parents of 96 preschool children rated 30 questionnaire items related to their children's motor skills and motivation on a 4-point scale. In addition, a Pre-Writing Test (PWT; Ozaki, 2018, in Japanese), which can be used to assess manual dexterity from handwriting performance, was completed by 27 of the preschool children who had been rated on the questionnaires by their parents. With factor analysis, 17 of the items were identified as being composed of 2 factors: gross motor and fine motor/coordination. Cronbach's α showed sufficient internal consistency in the total scale and the 2 subscales. A child with poor handwriting skills on the Pre-Writing Test was below the 5th percentile in the total score and fine motor/coordination score. Furthermore, when the trajectory of the child's pen movements during the line drawing task of the Pre-Writing Test was recorded by a digital pen, the child's drawing speed was significantly more rapid than the other children's. These results suggest that it may be possible to assess children with poor manual dexterity using this checklist.
The present study investigated the status of career guidance for students with developmental disorders in the upper secondary divisions of special schools for students with health impairments. The findings from a questionnaire survey showed that 38 (71.7%) of the 53 schools responding had students with developmental disorders who were learning through a high school equivalent curriculum (353 out of 1,490 students, or 23.7%). After graduating from the special schools, 22% of these 353 students started part-time jobs, 14.3% obtained regular employment, 13.2% made use of type-B employment support providers, 13.2% made use of work transition support providers, and 7.7% attended a college or vocational school. Their teachers provided career guidance in collaboration with other organizations to aid the students after graduation. Issues in career guidance can be classified into 4 categories: student issues, family issues, school system issues, and issues of social resources. The problems found included a lack of routine in daily life, difficulty in the students' and their parents' understanding of the students' disabilities, inappropriateness of the curriculum, and lack of service providers. These results suggest that when providing career guidance, teachers should consider students' secondary problems. Furthermore, teachers should design curricula that have specific goals and objectives and should decide what content to include.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a method of teaching eye gaze in 2 contexts, requesting and responding to joint attention, to a boy, 5 yr 1 mo old at the start of the study, who had been diagnosed with a severe intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The reinforcers chosen were considered to be appropriate for 2 different conditions: being instructed to request and responding to joint attention. Eye gaze in the context of requesting was taught using prompts, fading of prompts, and differential reinforcement. Eye gaze in the context of responding to joint attention was taught using prompts, fading of prompts, and pairing. After the intervention with eye gaze in the context of requesting, the incidence of eye gaze increased. This change generalized to different adults and different instructions. The change was maintained at 2-month and 6-month follow-ups. However, Intervention 1, eye gaze in the context of responding to joint attention, was not followed by a significant change. Subsequently, when Intervention 2, eye gaze in the context of responding to joint attention, was conducted, the incidence of appropriate gazing increased, and the increase was maintained during Probe 2. The discussion addresses changes in the instructions and the use of context-appropriate reinforcers.
The present study investigated effects for 1 child of training programs based on the Pictures Exchange Communication System (PECS) that were used with children with autistic spectrum disorder at the University Clinical Center. Ecological assessments were also implemented, aimed at formulating a training program using PECS that could be readily carried out at home, even by a busy mother with several children. Through ecological assessments, daily life situations, time periods, and frequencies were identified at which the child's mother could give instructions without having problems, and a plan was drawn up for a home-based training program using PECS. After training and instruction had been provided at the university, the child was able to learn up to Phase 3 of PECS. For home-based training and instruction, based on the progress made in the PECS training given at the university, an instruction program was implemented that was designed to place a minimal burden on the mother. As a result, she was able to continue giving training and instruction for approximately 8 months, and her child, who had showed correct responses up to Phase 3, reacted positively. The discussion focuses on the introduction of a PECS-based training program at home, as well as ecological assessments, and discusses the requirements, means of making requests, and expansion of communication partners in the home.
The participant in the present study was a female student in her second year (11th grade) at a special education high school, who, as the result of an accident when she was in elementary school, had severe brain damage. Diagnoses had indicated that she had almost no vision, and that there was little possibility that her brainstem received auditory information. In addition, she had severe motor disabilities and trouble with spontaneous respiration and thermoregulation. The present study examined effects of the presentation of auditory and tactile stimuli on her manual and heart-rate responses, because if even minimal changes could be detected, she might have a basic means of communication. In the first 11 sessions, poetry was read aloud for 3 min, music was played for 4 min, her left foot and leg were massaged for 4 min, and finally, music was combined with massage for 4 min. In the second 11 sessions, she was presented with poetry, music plus massage, music, and massage, in that order. The results showed that the mean frequency of her minimal manual responses increased during the presentation of music, massage, and music plus massage, and that the changes in the kind of stimulus presented were related to the changes in her heart rate. It is possible that she discriminated differences in the stimuli that were presented.