Sugden to address children's movement disorder as Pease Family Scholar Thursday

AMES, Iowa -- Such daily activities as playing games, writing, drawing and dressing are some physical actions most children and their caregivers take for granted. But for some children, movement to perform those tasks doesn't come so easily.

That's why David Sugden, professor of special needs in education at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, has committed his life to exploring development and movement issues in children. Sugden, a children's movement disorder specialist and book author, will visit Iowa State University as the 2010-11 Pease Family Scholar, on Sept. 23-24.

As part of his visit, Sugden will present a free, public lecture on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. His lecture, titled "Identifying, Assessing, and Supporting Children with Movement Difficulties," will summarize who the children with movement disorders are, as well as the challenges they face.

His talk will describe how to practice "ecological intervention." Sugden calls that a process whereby individuals -- ranging from those in the home, schools, community, and in health services -- can help a child overcome his or her movement difficulties by altering the manner in which a task or goal is presented, and controlling the context or environment in which the physical activity takes place.

"Movement is essential to our daily lives and consequently, if our movements are poor or curtailed, our lives are much the less for this," Sugden said. 'Thus, any help and support that we can give to children to help them move better will improve their lives."

Sugden's latest book, "Early Years Movement Skills: Description, Diagnosis and Intervention" (Wiley, Feb. 2006) -- co-authored with his Leeds colleague Mary Chambers -- provides an evidence-based manual of diagnosis and interventions for helping children between 3 and 6 years old who lack a complete range of fundamental movement skills.

The Pease Family Scholar program was created in memory of Harvey and Bomell Pease, Newport Beach, Calif. The endowment was established in 1991 by their son, Dean Pease, and his wife, Sally, to bring visiting scholars to the Iowa State campus. Dean Pease, who died in 1994, chaired the department of health and human performance from 1987 to 1990.