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Power Mobility and Socialization in Preschool: Follow-up Case Study of a Child With Cerebral Palsy

Ragonesi, Christina B. BS; Chen, Xi BS; Agrawal, Sunil PhD; Galloway, James Cole PT, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318235266a
Case Report

Purpose: Our previous study found it feasible for a preschooler with cerebral palsy (CP) to use a power mobility device in his classroom but noted a lack of typical socialization. The purpose of this follow-up study was to determine the feasibility of providing mobility and socialization training for this child.

Methods: Will, a 3-year-old with CP, 1 comparison peer, 2 preschool teachers, and 2 therapists were filmed daily during a training and posttraining phase. Adult-directed training was provided in the classroom by therapists and teachers during the training phase. Mobility and socialization measures were coded from video.

Outcomes: During training, Will demonstrated greater socialization but less mobility than the comparison peer. Posttraining, Will socialized less but was more mobile, though less mobile than the comparison peer.

Discussion: Short-term, adult-directed power mobility and socialization training appear feasible for the preschool classroom. Important issues regarding socialization and power mobility are discussed.

The authors found that training in power mobility and socialization in a preschool classroom is feasible, but they suggest that issues related to long-term improvement need to be addressed.

Infant Motor Behavior Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy (Ms Ragonesi and Dr Galloway), Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Program (Ms Ragonesi and Drs Agrawal and Galloway), and Mechanical Systems Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering (Mr Chen and Dr Agrawal), University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Correspondence: Christina Ragonesi, Infant Motor Behavior Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 (

Grant Support: Supported in part by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health.

This work was completed as part of the PhD work of Christina Ragonesi in the Biomechanics and Movement Sciences graduate program, University of Delaware.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.