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Center for Motor Behavior & Pediatric Disabilities – Division of Kinesiology
Our Mission:To conduct and disseminate basic scientific research to better understand the complexity of individuals with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida and to utilize this knowledge to design and test innovative clinical services
We describe complexity as the dynamic interactions of biological and psychological factors that contribute to the overall quality of the individual's motor behavior. As we learn more about the relevant factors that may alter behavior, this information is used to design and test interventions to improve the quality of functioning in people with various disabilities, including Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.
Our goal is to share this information with scientists, parents, and professionals around the world through presentations and publications of current research, discussion of review papers, and organization of seminars. As part of the University of Michigan and the Division of Kinesiology, we create interdisciplinary and collaborative learning opportunities for researchers at the undergraduate through post-doctoral levels. The ultimate outcome will be a significant increase in the number of people conducting research and scholarship related to individuals with various pediatric disabilities, hopefully leading to meaningful development of movement, play, and sport skills.
Our center does not provide direct clinical services to children but does conduct clinical trials to test the functional outcomes of new innovative programs. Our mission also includes speaking to parent support groups on topics related to our research findings and to disseminate our new knowledge to professionals in physical therapy and occupational therapy. Many undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Michigan are invited to participate in many of our on-going research projects. Faculty members and graduate students at the center are involved in national and international collaborative research with other researchers who are studying cognitive and social development in children with disabilities. Our mission at the center is to have a positive impact on the whole child, recognizing that the child's physical functioning influences many other areas of their life including their families.