The purpose of the Motor Development Clinic is to: 1) develop and improve motor skills; 2) increase movement behavior (i.e., cooperation, attention, participation, social skills); and 3) provide movement experiences that are accessible and within a positive environment.
The academic school year program operating September through May concentrates on breaking down motor skills into basic components, which are addressed through proper teaching techniques, demonstrations, and skill feedback. The summer program focuses on the enjoyment of movement in a social setting that is more general by providing a chance for the children to put into practice what they have learned during the school year. It also concentrates on a wide variety of activities including but not limited to fitness skills, rhythms/dance, locomotor and manipulative skills, sport skills, games, and swimming skills.
The Motor Development Clinic is designed to provide three services.
- A individualized movement program for children with disabilities who are experiencing a delay in motor skills.
- Instructional concepts and materials for parents which enable them to supplement the clinic's movement program at home.
- A valuable learning experience for graduate and undergraduate students at Cal Poly Pomona specializing in teaching adapted physical education, elementary physical education, liberal studies, special education, and other related fields.
The name of the clinic is highly significant to its purpose and goals. The term "motor" refers to movement in the four basic categories of motor skills, including:
- physical and motor fitness (muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance);
- locomotor skills (walk, run, hop, jump, and skip);
- non-locomotor skills (body awareness, twisting, bending); and
- manipulation skills (reception/propulsion, striking).
The term "development" refers to the growth and maturation process through which all children experience. As a unique individual, each child possesses specific movement abilities. These abilities are influenced by a child's skills based on environmental factors, their proficiency in processing information, their perception based on sensory information, and development and maturation.
The program at the Motor Development Clinic is based upon the uniqueness of each individual. The abilities of each child are assessed in a manner that allows the clinic staff to diagnose movement delays. Appropriate movement tasks are then prescribed which are sequenced to meet the goals and objectives of the movement program. Since each child is assessed individually, no two movement programs are the same. The clinic staff invests a great deal of time to assure a quality movement program which will fulfill each child's specific movement needs.
The clinic exposes the child to various movement experiences which may also develop such areas as movement confidence, social interaction skills, and enjoyment while participating in movement activities. The child may then transfer these skills into his or her own school's physical education program due to the clinic experience and personal improvement in motor skills. Upon parent request, the clinic interacts with school districts, individual classroom teachers, and others working with the child to ensure program continuity.
The Motor Development Clinic is open to children with disabilities who are experiencing a delay in motor skills. Each child is carefully assessed by a CPP student under the supervision of the MDC director and staff, using a minimum of two different assessment devices, according to the participant's age and motor needs. An assessment fee is charged which varies according to the number of tests given. It usually takes one to two hours for the total test battery to be administered. A formal written evaluation of the assessment is provided to the parent which includes all test scores and a movement program recommendation.
Not all children assessed are enrolled in the clinic. Most participants are experiencing movement difficulties in one or more of the four basic categories of movement. The clinic is designed to help children who are experiencing movement problems due to a delay in motor skill development. If a participant cannot be helped by the clinic, the staff will refer the family to appropriate sources.
The number of participants served each semester varies according to the clinic staff and available hours. A waiting list is used to facilitate those participants who wish to be enrolled in the clinic when an opening occurs.