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The research group ChiP

Development and evaluation of an intervention in time processing ability and daily time management in preschool children with cognitive disabilities

The overall aim of this project is to develop and evaluate an intervention to promote time processing ability and daily time management in preschool children 5- 6 years with cognitive disabilities.

Start

2018-01-01

Main financing

Centrum för Klinisk Forskning Region Dalarna, Stiftelsen Norrbacka – Eugenia, Stiftelsen Sunnerdahls Handikappfond och Sveriges Arbetsterapeuter

Research group

Project manager at MDH

Sara Ahlström

sara.ahlstrom@mdh.se

Background

Children with different types of cognitive disabilities, such as Myelo Meningo Cele (MMC), Cerebral Palsy (CP), Autism, and ADHD are at risk of lagging behind typically developing peers in daily time management due to limitations in the cognitive functions associated with time processing ability. Difficulties in time processing ability may also have a negative impact on everyday functioning in preschool, and over time increase the risk of difficulties concerning e.g. school adjustment.

Aim

The overall aim of this project is to develop and evaluate an intervention to promote time processing ability and daily time management in preschool children 5- 6 years with cognitive disabilities.

Methods

Study I develop and evaluate a model called Support in Time for use in a structured intervention in preschool children for a randomized controlled study, and explore the subjective experiences of preschool staff and children. In study II the model will be evaluated in an RCT-study to see if Support in Time increase time processing ability in preschool children 5–6 years with cognitive disabilities. Study III, an RCT-study evaluates if Support in Time increase everyday functioning in preschool children 5-6 years with cognitive disabilities. Study IV will evaluate the participating children`s experiences of working with Support in time in preschool.

Significance

The results gained from this project can significantly contribute to increased knowledge of how to support preschool children’s time processing ability and daily time management. If the intervention proves to be effective, Support in Time could be used in children’s natural settings such as the preschool, as a tool to promote children’s everyday functioning at a young age. This can prevent later difficulties, e.g. in school adjustment, and the health and welfare risks associated with such difficulties.

Support in time is a complex intervention including different time assitive devices and tasks to measure and visualize time. The Timelog is one of the time assistive devices. The preschool teachers use the Timelog to visualize the time left to start or end an activity. The children also use the Timelog by themselves in different activities during the preschool day.

The children use the Timelog to visualize the time left to wait to take turns. The first one in the que to the swings press the blue dot (5 minutes). When the time ends both the children in the que and the child on the swing know it´s time to take turn. The same procedure could be seen when taking turns with the cycles and the IPad.

The children also use the Timelog to buy themselves time. One boy used it during his first two weeks in a new preschool. He pressed the red dot (20 minutes) every morning. He then placed himself in a corner observing the group of children playing. When the time was out and the Timelog sounded he was ready to take part in the play. When trying to help him to take part in the play he pointed at the Timelog and said he had some dots left before he wanted to come. The preschool staff helped the boy to choose shorter and shorter time sitting in the corner with the Timelog. After two weeks he didn´t use the Timelog anymore to prepare himself to take part in the play with the other children.

Another example is when I was sitting with a child and asking questions and the child agreed to do this in a yellow dot (15 minutes). When the time was out and the Timelog sounded the child stood up and was ready to leave the room. But there were three questions left. I said to the child that I had promised that we should finish when the time was out, but I asked if he could consider letting me ask the last three questions. He thought for a while and then he sat down again and pressed the blue dot (5 minutes) and said:

– Ok, you can have a blue dot for those questions.

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