An Examination of the Effectiveness of Ballet on Gross Motor Function in Children with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities

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Corinne Marascio


The purpose of this study was to examine how ballet could be used as a form of therapy to improve gross motor function in children with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDDs). Fourteen participants (ages 4-12, 10 males, 4 females) who were enrolled in Monday and Friday camp days at ABC Educational Services, Inc. Stimulation School Summer Camp were included in the study. Participants completed the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd Edition (BOT-2) during the first week of the intervention. For the following six weeks, participants engaged in thirty-minute ballet classes twice a week. During week eight of the intervention participants completed the BOT-2 test a second time. The results indicated that children with a suspected IDD did not consistently score below average on the BOT-2. Additionally, statistically significant correlations between ballet instruction and gross motor proficiency were not found. Further studies should be done to continue to examine the relationship between ballet and gross motor function.

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I would say I am proud of her and her study but a more accurate statement would be to be humbled she trusted me to guide her throughout the process. Corinne is unequivocally a one-of-one. Her dedication and discipline to her idea allowed her to develop a research question, design an intervention, and then successfully deliver the intervention. Corinne’s maturity and independence are unmatched and on the level of many graduate students.

— Philip Eposito

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Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences