Enhancing the Cognitive and Learning Skills of Children with Intellectual Disability through Physical Activity and Edutainment Games

Amal Dandashi, Abdel Ghani Karkar, Sawsan Saad, Zaara Barhoumi, Jihad Al-Jaam, Abdulmotaleb El Saddik
2015 International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks  
This work introduces an edutainment system specifically designed to help children with intellectual disability (ID) in order to allow them to have an enhanced and enjoyable learning process and addresses the need for integrating physical activity into their daily lives. The proposed system consists of a multimedia technology based games with a tangible user interface. The edutainment system was tested on 77 children with different intellectual disabilities (IDs). The mildly disabled groups
more » ... ved best results in terms of scores and coordination, but all the observed groups exhibited high motivation levels. The results proved that the system had very positive effects on the children, in terms of cognition and motivational levels, especially as the children became more physically active in the classrooms. Instructors also expressed willingness to incorporate the edutainment system into the classroom on a daily basis, as a complementary tool to conventional learning. obesity rates by body mass index (BMI) of children with ID are approximately 38% higher than that of children without disabilities. Therefore, obesity might develop to various negative health issues such as difficulty participating in activities of daily living, social isolation, depression, and also serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] . In Arab countries, accurate statistics that can be relied on to show precise numbers of children with disabilities are not abundantly available. A study in the state of Qatar [9] indicates that there were 5,378 disabled children and youths in Qatar, accounting for about 0.4% of the total population. According to the Central Authority for Public Mobilization and Statistics [10] , there are approximately two million people with disabilities in Egypt, which represents about 3.5% of the total population. Assistive technology systems including computer-based tools and software have the potential to help the children with disability to learn, communicate, play, and be more independent in their lives. Hence, increasing attention has
doi:10.1155/2015/165165 fatcat:f4fh4ef4ivdqxo6gfsxsj6c6re