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You Can Ride Too! An Exploration of the Guided Discovery of Two-wheeled Cycling Skills by Youth with Intellectual Disabilities Open Access


Other title
Intellectual Disability
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Halayko, Janine
Supervisor and department
Magill-Evans, Joyce (Occupational Therapy)
Examining committee member and department
Smith, Veronica (Educational Psychology)
Polatajko, Helene (Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy--University of Toronto)
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Rehabilitation Science- Physical Therapy
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Learning to ride a bike is an important milestone in the life of a child, yet many children with disabilities never have the opportunity to experience this success. Few studies have examined how to teach this skill to individuals with intellectual disabilities, with techniques that do not use specialized bicycles. The main purpose of this thesis was to explore the applicability of Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) for teaching cycling to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Two studies were completed: a single case multiple baseline design across seven participants (ages 10-19), and an in-depth analysis of one of the cases. In the first study the seven youth—six with a diagnosis of Down syndrome, one with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome—were videotaped over the course of the baseline, intervention and follow-up phases. Cycling skills and the maximum distance and time ridden were assessed and analyzed using the non-overlap of all pairs (NAP) method. Completion of the CO-OP intervention coincided with significant improvements in all measures for six of the seven participants. At follow-up, cycling distances for these 6 youth ranged from 31-1756m, time cycled extended from 11 seconds to over 9 minutes, and an average of over 10 of 20 independent cycling skills were gained. One participant did not learn how to ride and one did not participate in two-wheeled cycling after follow-up. In the second study involving the oldest participant with Down syndrome, the youth’s trajectory of learning and cycling skill acquisition was described along with the key features of CO-OP used to facilitate his learning. The results of these studies provide proof of principle that CO-OP may be an effective way to teach cycling to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Further evaluation is warranted to determine its potential use with others with intellectual disabilities or when teaching other skills.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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