Cognitive modifiability of children with developmental disabilities: a multicentre study using Feuerstein's instrumental enrichment: basic program
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
New York, N.Y.
Research in developmental disabilities. - New York, N.Y.
, p. 551-559
University of Antwerp
The study aimed at exploring the effectiveness of cognitive intervention with the new Instrumental Enrichment Basic program (IE-basic), based on Feuerstein's theory of structural cognitive modifiability that contends that a child's cognitive functioning can be significantly modified through mediated learning intervention. The IE-basic progam is aimed at enhancing domain-general cognitive functioning in a number of areas (systematic perception, self-regulation abilities, conceptual vocabulary, planning, decoding emotions and social relations) as well as transferring learnt principles to daily life domains. Participants were children with DCD, CP, intellectual impairment of genetic origin, autistic spectrum disorder, ADHD or other learning disorders, with a mental age of 57 years, from Canada, Chile, Belgium, Italy and Israel. Children in the experimental groups (N = 104) received 2790 h of the program during 3045 weeks; the comparison groups (N = 72) received general occupational and sensorymotor therapy. Analysis of the pre- to post-test gain scores demonstrated significant (p < 0.05) advantage of experimental over comparison groups in three WISC-R subtests (Similarities, Picture Completion, Picture Arrangement) and Raven Coloured Matrices. Effect sizes ranged from 0.3 to 0.52. Results suggest that it is possible to improve cognitive functioning of children with developmental disability. No advantage was found for children with specific aetiology. Greater cognitive gains were demonstrated by children who received the program in an educational context where all teachers were committed to the principles of mediated learning.