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Júlia Horváth: The observation of motor disabled children's scribblings: A comparative study of kindergarten age groups

The graphomotor development of cerebraparetic children is a central issue in the methodology of conductive education (CE). Despite their disabilities, these children, too, need to learn to write. Writing, however, is not considered as an isolated activity but as one of such complex movements and cognitive capacities in which the motor, perceptive and speech functions of the child can be developed in relation to each other. Thus the improvement of drawing in motor disabled children may have important consequences concerning their later development. The characteristics of the drawing development of children with hemiplegia and asymmetric double hemiplegia have already been the subject of research. The present study focuses on the disintegration of sensory-motor co-ordination caused by organic damage to the cortex of the brain. The symptom-specific features of drawing in kindergarten age are discussed as well as alternative strategies and methods of developing drawing skills. The subjects, 41 three-year-old kindergarteners (10 healthy children and 31 with cerebral palsy) were administered drawing tasks in 3 month intervals over one academic year. Field notes, interviews, photos, samples of drawings and other documents were collected and ways of transforming these into quantitative data were explored. The observation focused on how children hold their pencils, their attention span, the hedonistic values apparent in their work and the quality of their drawings. The objectives of the study included (1) identifying qualitative changes occurring in the course of the research project; (2) relating these to qualitative changes on other tasks over the same period; and (3) testing the hypothesis of existing relationships among the qualitative changes of the observed variables. Ultimately, the research presented here aimed at answering two questions: Are there symptom-specific strategies and significant differences in the scribbling stage between healthy and motor disabled children? How can CE help the development of drawing skills? The findings show that the applied developmental methods are promising with regard to improvement and highlight the need to extend the use of developmental procedures to school age.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 101. Number 1. 47-62. (2001)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Horváth Dezsőné, Nemzetközi Pető András Intézet Konduktív Pedagógiai Tanszék, H-1125 Budapest, Kútvölgyi út 6.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia