Technology in Rehabilitative Interventions for Children: Challenges and Opportunities

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Child Neurology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 December 2021) | Viewed by 13665

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo Gemelli 1, 20123 Milan, Italy
Interests: cognitive enhancement; creativity; education and neuroscience; empowerment; language and music; learning; life skills; metacognition; neurostimulation; problem solving; rehabilitation
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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Interests: developmental psychology; reading disorders
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, several studies have provided evidence on the effects that the interaction between the individual and the environment can have on the organization and functioning of cortical networks, providing useful indications for the development of new rehabilitative/habilitative interventions in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. In particular, the application of new information, cybernetic, and electromedical technologies has provided the opportunity to affect, through different mechanisms, the neuronal plasticity in a more or less direct way. Numerous studies on animal models have highlighted the impact that environmental enrichment can have on cortical organization and therefore some proposals have been developed to modify sensory, perceptual, and motor experience, according to the perspectives of embodied cognition and sensory integration.

This Special Issue aims to offer an overview of evidence-based studies on the efficacy of new rehabilitation approaches addressed to children with neurodevelopmental disorders, designed to enhance the effects of learning processes through the use of new technologies.

Prof. Alessandro Antonietti
Prof. Daniela Traficante
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • neurodevelopmental disorders
  • rehabilitation
  • new technologies
  • cybernetics
  • electromedical technologies
  • virtual reality
  • embodied cognition
  • neuroplasticity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 159 KiB  
Editorial
Technology in Rehabilitative Interventions for Children: Challenges and Opportunities
by Daniela Traficante and Alessandro Antonietti
Children 2022, 9(5), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050598 - 22 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Technology innovation has been leading to the development of an increasing number of applications that aim to support the rehabilitation of cognitive functions [...] Full article

Research

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17 pages, 1601 KiB  
Article
Remote Neuropsychological Intervention for Developmental Dyslexia with the Tachidino Platform: No Reduction in Effectiveness for Older Nor for More Severely Impaired Children
by Maria Luisa Lorusso, Francesca Borasio and Massimo Molteni
Children 2022, 9(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9010071 - 5 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
Tachidino is a web-platform for remote treatment of reading and writing disorders. A total of 91 children with developmental dyslexia and/or dysorthographia participated in the present study and received Tachidino treatment. The purpose of the study was to compare results obtained after four [...] Read more.
Tachidino is a web-platform for remote treatment of reading and writing disorders. A total of 91 children with developmental dyslexia and/or dysorthographia participated in the present study and received Tachidino treatment. The purpose of the study was to compare results obtained after four weeks treatment and a six-month follow-up in older versus younger children and in more versus less severely impaired children (separately subdividing them according to reading speed, reading accuracy, and writing accuracy). The results showed no difference in improvement for reading accuracy and speed in the three age groups, but children below 9 years improved more than older children in writing accuracy. Regarding severity groups, children with more severe initial impairments improved more than children with less severe impairments. Additionally, the results were confirmed after controlling for spurious effects due to use of Z-scores and regression to the mean. The findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical implications. Full article
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19 pages, 3326 KiB  
Article
Towards Consensus on Good Practices for the Use of New Technologies for Intervention and Support in Developmental Dyslexia: A Delphi Study Conducted among Italian Specialized Professionals
by Maria Luisa Lorusso, Francesca Borasio, Martina Da Rold and Andrea Martinuzzi
Children 2021, 8(12), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8121126 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2465
Abstract
The use of new technologies for intervention in developmental dyslexia is steadily growing. In order to better understand the needs, the expectations, and the attitudes of Italian expert health professionals concerning such technologies, a national survey was conducted applying the Delphi methodology. Ad-hoc [...] Read more.
The use of new technologies for intervention in developmental dyslexia is steadily growing. In order to better understand the needs, the expectations, and the attitudes of Italian expert health professionals concerning such technologies, a national survey was conducted applying the Delphi methodology. Ad-hoc questionnaires were sent out to a group of eighteen experts over three successive rounds, and anonymously collected responses were aggregated and shared with the group after each round, aiming to reach a consensus on the proposed response. The goal was to define a series of statements that could form the basis for international “good practices” in the use of technologies for intervention to support dyslexia in children and adolescents. In the first round, the experts’ general opinions were collected with both multiple choice and open questions, and in the second round consensus was assessed on a series of statements based on the first replies. The cut-off of 75% consensus on each statement was reached after three rounds. Fifteen experts completed all the rounds of the process, and a final version of the statements regarding good practice in the use of technologies for dyslexia could be defined. Full article
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12 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Telerehabilitation and Wellbeing Experience in Children with Special Needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Daniela Sarti, Marinella De Salvatore, Emanuela Pagliano, Elisa Granocchio, Daniela Traficante and Elisabetta Lombardi
Children 2021, 8(11), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8110988 - 1 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2269
Abstract
Social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic represented a golden opportunity to implement telerehabilitation for clinical groups of children. The present study aims to show the impact that telerehabilitation had on the experience of well-being of children with special needs being treated at [...] Read more.
Social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic represented a golden opportunity to implement telerehabilitation for clinical groups of children. The present study aims to show the impact that telerehabilitation had on the experience of well-being of children with special needs being treated at the Foundation IRCCS Neurological Institute ‘C. Besta’ in Milan (Specific Learning Disorders and Cerebral Palsy diagnosis); it aims to do so by comparing it with experiences of those who did not undertake telerehabilitation despite the diagnosis during the pandemic, and with typically developing children. Results show that the three groups differed in the Support, Respect and Learning dimensions of well-being experience. Post hoc comparisons revealed that children with Specific Learning Disorders and Cerebral Palsy scored higher than normotypical children in Support and in Respect scales. Furthermore, children who experienced telerehabilitation showed the highest scores on the Learning scale in comparison with the other two groups. These results support the importance of reorganizing care and assistance by integrating telemedicine, which seems to have fostered a positive experience of well-being in people with special needs, particularly in the perception of a supportive environment that respects psychological needs. Full article

Review

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10 pages, 239 KiB  
Review
The Virtual Challenge: Virtual Reality Tools for Intervention in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder
by Federica Lino, Valentina Arcangeli and Daniela Pia Rosaria Chieffo
Children 2021, 8(4), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8040270 - 1 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4025
Abstract
This narrative review highlights the latest achievements in the field of tele-rehabilitation: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) serious games aimed at restoring and improving cognitive functions could be effectively used in Developmental Coordination Disorder Training. Studies investigating the effects of the [...] Read more.
This narrative review highlights the latest achievements in the field of tele-rehabilitation: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) serious games aimed at restoring and improving cognitive functions could be effectively used in Developmental Coordination Disorder Training. Studies investigating the effects of the abovementioned tech applications on cognitive improvement have been considered, following a comprehensive literature search in the scientific electronic databases: Pubmed, Scopus, Plos One, ScienceDirect. This review investigates the effects of VR and AR in improving space/motor skills through mental images manipulation training in children with developmental coordination disorders. The results revealed that in spite of the spreading of technology, actually only four studies investigated the effects of VR/AR tools on mental images manipulation. This study highlights new, promising VR and AR based therapeutic opportunities for digital natives now available, emphasizing the advantages of using motivational reward-oriented tools, in a playful therapeutic environment. However, more research in this filed is needed to identify the most effective virtual tool set for clinical use. Full article
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