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Motor Development: What You Need to Know
A Series for Caregivers of Infants and Toddlers
MITCH Module 9


Florida Department of Education
Division of Public Schools
Bureau of Education for Exceptional Students
Reprinted 1993


          Project MITCH Overview
          MITCH Modules
          MITCH Booklets
User's Guide to Series
                    Instructor Qualifications
                    Role of Instructor
                    Instructor Preparation and Follow-Through
          The Session
                    MITCH Theme Music
                    Six-Week Follow-Up Activity
                    Certificate of Completion
                    Record of Completion
Specific Information for Presenting Module 9
          Goals and Objectives
          Other Recommended Instructors
          Contact List
          Equipment, Materials, and Supplies
                    Materials Contained in This Manual
                    Materials Not Contained in This Manual
Hour 1
          Goals and Objectives
Hour 2
          Goals and Objectives
Hour 3
          Goals and Objectives
Resource List
          A. Reproducible Forms for Three-Hour Module
          B. Reproducible Copies of Handouts/ Overheads/Booklets
          C. Reproducible Forms for the Six-Week Follow-Up Activity


Information in the Introduction should be reviewed by each instructor or user of this material. The User's Guide to Series begins on page 5. Information relating to this module begins on page 11.


The purpose of the Project MITCH (Model of Interdisciplinary Training for Children with Handicaps) training series is to assist local school districts in Florida in providing interdisciplinary training and resources to parents, non-degreed daycare workers, and healthcare providers who work with special needs infants and toddlers ages 0-5, with emphasis on ages 0-2.

This series was funded by a grant to the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System/South (FDLRS/South), on behalf of the FDLRS Network, from the Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Education for Exceptional Students (BEES).

In 1987, the Florida Legislature designated $100,000.00 of the total appropriation for the FDLRS Network to "expand services to infants and preschool children." The application submitted by Dade County on behalf of the FDLRS/South Associate Center serving Dade and Monroe Counties was selected for funding and was initiated on May 25, 1988. FDLRS/South collaborated with FDLRS/Mailman at the University of Miami and FDLRS/Gateway, serving Hamilton, Columbia, Lafayette, Madison, and Suwannee Counties, to complete the work under the grant. Outcomes of the project include:

  • assessment of the status of training and resources for the designated population

  • design of a collaborative implementation and training model to include development of competencies, replicable training modules which enhance or expand the HRS eight-hour special needs child care module, an adapted training plan for daycare providers, recommendations for curricula to be used in daycare and preschool programs, and recommendations for provision of consultation to parents

  • validation of the training modules in Dade, Monroe, and counties served by FDLRS/Gateway

  • provision of training for potential instructors and other interested personnel in the 18 FDLRS Associate Center service regions.

Topics for theeleven training modules, as wellas information which provides thebasis for the competencies, policy framework, and other products of Project MITCH, were obtained from a literature search, interviews, and letters of inquiry, and needs assessments sent to over 600 persons throughout the State of Florida. The modules were written by several authors from various disciplines, including early childhood education, exceptional student education, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, speech and language, nutrition, and social work. Each module was read by several critical readers and was piloted in both north and south Florida at least three times before final rewriting took place.

The training series emphasizes developmentally appropriate practice and normal development as the means for working with youngsters who have special needs. The eleven three-hour modules that currently make up the series have relevance for caregivers of normally developing children as well as caregivers who may be working with children who are handicapped, experiencing delays, or who may be at-risk. Although several of the modules specifically address normal and abnormal development from birth to 36 months of age, the material is also meaningful to caregivers of preschoolers who are chronologically older but who are functioning developmentally within the birth to three year range.


    Eleven MITCH training modules have been developed:

  1. Intellectual Development: What You Can Do to Help
  2. Speech and Language Development: What You Can Do to Help
  3. The Child Who Seems Different: Meeting Special Needs
  4. Family Functioning: The Impact of a Child with Special Needs
  5. Listening and Sensory Integration: What to Do Before Speech and Language Develop
  6. The Caregiving Environment: Planning an Effective Program
  7. Behavior Management: Preventing and Dealing with Problem Behavior
  8. Health Care: Infection Control, Medication Administration, and Seizure Management
  9. Motor Development: What You Need to Know
  10. Nutrition and Feeding Practices: What You Need to Know
  11. Working Together: Communication Skills for Parents, Caregivers, and Other Professionals

Each of the three-hour modules can be used independently. Although the modules are numbered sequentially, they may be presented in any order since no module provides prerequisite material for another. Each module contains a script for the instructor, activities, references, resource list, and reproducible handouts/overheads. In some cases, a videotape and/oran audiotape and other materials are available to supplement the written material.


Three booklets have also been produced through MITCH. These may be used with modules as indicated or may be used independently. The booklets are listed below:

  • A Simple Introduction to Physical and Health Impairments, to be used with Module 3

  • Welcome to Our World: An Overview of Your Growing Child, to be used with Modules 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7

  • Curricula for Use with High Risk and Handicapped Infants and Toddlers, for use as a supplement to the modules.

Specific Information for Presenting Module 9


Goal for Hour 1: Participants will gain knowledge of physical therapy and normal motordevelopment of children.

Objective - Participants will gain an understanding of:

  • the nature of physical therapy
  • the role of the physical therapist
  • the normal motor developmental sequence from 0 to 36 months
  • important activities related to critical motor milestones and automatic movement reactions.

Goal for Hour 2: Participants will gain knowledge of the role of physical therapy in the education of infants and toddlers with special needs.

Objective - Participants will gain an understanding of:

  • the characteristics of abnormal motor development
  • common abnormal movement behavior
  • appropriate positioning and handling techniques
  • the relationship between abnormal movement and associated disorders.

Goal for Hour 3: Participants will gain knowledge of the role of occupational therapy in the education of special needs infants and toddlers.

Objective - Participants will gain an understanding of:

  • occupational therapy and the role of the occupational therapist
  • the development of the normal grasp pattern
  • the development of normal fine motor coordination
  • some problems encountered in fine motor development.

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