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Precision Teaching for Mobility: The Big 6

Get moving! Discover frequency building techniques to build the fine motors skills necessary for daily living, mobility, nonverbal communication, and more!

Get 7 research articles -- for free! 

Chapman et al. 2005

This article describes fluency training provided to 5 children with traumatic brain injuries.  The target skill for Participant 4 was correct display of functional signs taken from an American Sign Language book. The treatment for Participant 4 was to increase his fine motor skill coordination via Anne Desjardins’ Big 6 + 6 teaching approach. After treatment intervention, his performance increased by 200%. The final acceleration count reached 40 and deceleration count was two at completion of the study, exceeding the target aim set at 30. All participants gained documented skill acquisition, and displayed an increase in confidence in themselves and their abilities. 

Eastridge et al. 2005

The focus of this study was to try to establish key component, or element skills, and their underlying tool skills to improve functional gross motor skills to fluent levels for individuals who had suffered brain injuries. Four participants using the key component Big 6 skills of reach, point, touch, grasp, place, and release were studied to determine whether building these skills to a high rate could increase the functional motor skills in the impaired hand or in the non-impaired, non-dominant hand. The study indicates that increasing these skills to fluent levels also increases the functional use in the participant’s gross motor skill impaired hand and the non-impaired, non-dominant hand.

Fabrizio et al 2007

This short article describes a two-phase intervention, teaching squeeze to a 2-year-old child with pervasive developmental disorder (later diagnosed as autism). During the fluency outcome check, the child’s performance demonstrated some of the features of fluency (skill stability), but not all of them. However, the child’s progress was sufficient to allow him to play with toys, start kindergarten alongside his typically-developing peers, and begin to learn the guitar. 

Haughton 1980

This paper discusses four factors related to appropriate practice conditions to attain proficient behavioral performance. The factors are (1) adequate quality, (2) proficiency goals and practice ranges, (3) channels and matrixes, and (4) durations or intervals. On pages 10-12, Dr. Erick Haughton describes the learning matrixes, including one based on the Big 6 + 6 (hand mobility) and one including full body mobility (roll, creep, crawl, run, etc.). The paper points to a resolution of the crisis in learning based on critical quantity and quality criteria along with appropriate amounts of and combinations of practice.

Twarek, Cihon, & Eshelman 2010

This study assessed the effects of repeated timed practice of component motor skills on speed and accuracy of composite skills and the effects of fluent component motor skills on the completion of daily living composite skills. Three children (ages 3-5) with autism participated. The results suggest that all participants were able to perform the component skills at their individual aims and performed most of the component skills at fluent levels as assessed by retention and endurance checks. Each participant increased the number of composite skill steps performed independently and one decreased the overall time to complete the composite skill.

Weiss, Fabrizio, & Bamond 2008

Frequency building has been touted as having special relevance for individuals with ASD, especially in helping to retain skills. This article presents a data set of skills trained to high frequencies in a clinical setting across 38 individuals aged 3 to 33 with ASD.  Retention data checks were presented at 1, 2, 3, and 6-months after daily timed practice ended. The findings, their implications, and next steps in research are reviewed.

Weiss, Pearson, Foley, & Pahl 2010

Many learners with autism exhibit fluency deficits that manifest in several ways including laborious motor responses, long response durations and long latencies in responding. Such deficits can result in poor learning and social outcomes. This article discusses the application of rate-building instruction and key fluency concepts to remediate such deficits and achieve fluency outcomes in learners with autism. (Included is the Big 6 + 6.) While these outcomes appear achievable in theory, more rigorous, empirically-based research is needed to validate them.

web downs mobility

“It will really make the difference when you get these skills to regular levels of performance with your children," wrote Anne Desjardins, M.Ed. "I have seen children who have spent years in bed start to manipulate toys, feed themselves, balance themselves, gain mobility (crawling) once we have the “Big 6 + 6” at regular performance levels.” 

Desjardins' (1980) seminal letter is also included in the zip file of research articles. 


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