Microswitch Programs for Woman With Rett Syndrome & Boy With Neuro-Motor & Intellectual Disabilities


The purpose of this study was to extend the evidence on microswitch-aided programs in terms of participants involved and responses adopted. One of the two participants in this study was a woman with Rett syndrome. Adults with this syndrome have not been involved in microswitch programs and the possibility of achieving positive effects with her was viewed as relevant for future work with this group of persons. The responses used for the woman and the second participant (i.e., a boy with extensive neuro-motor and intellectual disabilities) consisted of flexible head and right hand activations, respectively. Flexibility meant that such activations could occur via left or right head movements, or through forward, upward, or downward hand movements. Allowing the participants to use any of several movements (rather than a single/specific one) was thought to make their response easier, given their limited control of their neuro-motor behavior. The possible impact of the program on the participants’ mood (happiness) was also assessed. Data showed an increase in microswitch responses and level of happiness for both participants during the intervention phases of the study. The practical implications of these findings are discussed.


Lancioni, G. E., Singh, N. N., O’Reilly, M. F., Sigafoos, J., Boccasini, A., La Martire, M. L., . . . Sacco, V. (2014). Microswitch-aided programs for a woman with Rett syndrome and a boy with extensive neuro-motor and intellectual disabilities. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26, 135–143.