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Bilateral Exercises to Decrease Off-Task Behaviors in Special-Needs Preschoolers • Movement and Self regulation skills for early childhood education

Bilateral Exercises for PreschoolersBy Dr. Jennifer Dustow, PHD

In 2005 Jennifer Dustow conducted her doctorial thesis on specific intentional movement in a special needs pre-school classroom.  Nine special-needs students attending a public elementary school participated and all showed a significant decrease in off-task behaviors on the days 5 minutes of bilateral exercises were conducted vs the days they were not.

The study was repeated with 20 public preschool classrooms in March/April of 2007.  A total of 88 students participated;  all diagnosed in the Autism Spectrum.  Off task behaviors include: aggression; eloping; flopping; inappropriate talking; non-focus; and noncompliance.  A strong statistical significance in the decrease of off task behaviors was found for all six hypotheses with 5 minutes of bilateral Brain Gym exercises.

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