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Am J Occup Ther. 2002 Jan-Feb;56(1):86-96.

Powered mobility and preschoolers with complex developmental delays.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Box 356490, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.



The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a powered mobility riding toy on the participation behaviors of young children with complex developmental delays.


A single-subject withdrawal design was used to study the effects of powered mobility on child-initiated movement occurrences, initiation of contact with others, and affect. The participants were two young children with complex developmental delays, including spastic quadriplegia. The intervention consisted of having the children use a powered mobility riding toy in their school settings during gym class and outdoor recess.


Primary findings were that use of the powered mobility riding toy (a) increased the number of self-initiated movement occurrences; (b) appeared to have some effect on initiation of contacts with adults and, for one child, negative adult initiations and positive peer initiations; and (c) did not have a clear impact on the amount of positive affect.


For some young children with severe motor impairments and developmental delay, use of a powered mobility device may increase self-initiated movement occurrences during free play.

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