The Developmental and Social Benefits of the Inclusive E-Karate Community Sports Program

By Martina Kaumbulu Ebesugawa, Lori Wensley, Ph.D and Jennifer Murphy-Sims.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this exploratory mixed method research study was to investigate the effects of Exceptional-Karate (E-Karate), an inclusive community sports program, on children’s social emotional development, motor development, and attention skills. Eleven children with special needs, eight children without special needs (N=19), their parents and 10 E-Karate coaches and teachers participated in this study, completing the Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC-2) and the Unipedal Stance Test. Parent, child and teacher focus groups were completed, from which qualitative data were gathered and then analyzed. The BASC-2 results indicate that 95% of the children showed statistically significant progress in their development on one or more rating scales, including parent, teacher or child self-report rating scales. Ninety percent of the children with special needs showed some progress on one or more of the ratings scales as analyzed by the BASC-2 software®. T-Tests revealed a statistically significant decrease for participants’ behavioral symptom index scores for the parent and teacher scales (p<.02), and a decrease in social skill problems (p<.06). Qualitative data indicated that students do benefit from the E-Karate program. The qualitative data pointed to the teaching style of the E-Karate program as a main factor in facilitating development in its students. These findings are promising and supportive of using inclusive recreational sports programs for the development of children with and without special needs.

Keywords: E-Karate, Inclusion, Special Needs, Motor Development, Social Emotional Development, Attention, Teaching Style of E-karate Program

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp.141-150. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 636.957KB).

Dr. Martina Kaumbulu Ebesugawa

Infant Development Specialist and Early Childhood Education Faculty, Early Intervention Services, Parent Infant Program and Early Childhood Mental Health Program, Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland, Oakland, California, USA

Dr. Martina Kaumbulu Ebesugawa is an Infant Development Specialist currently practicing in Oakland, CA in relationship-based early intervention programs to support at risk infants and toddlers. She received her doctorate in Learning and Instruction with an emphasis in urban and special education. She is an advocate for children with special needs and inclusion. Her dissertation utilized Brofenbrenner’s bio-ecological theory to explore possible system-wide supports to early childhood educators serving in inclusive settings where young children with and without special needs attend. She grew up in Nairobi Kenya and brings a culturally sensitive prospective to her work as an infant development specialist and professor. Dr. Ebesugawa is an adjunct faculty member at three child development departments in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lastly, she would like to thank Dr. Busk and the directors of the E Karate program for their support in this research effort.

Dr. Lori Wensley, Ph.D

Child/Family Psychologist, Psychiatry, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and The Link to Children, Berkeley/Oakland, California, USA

Lori Wensley, PhD was born into an Army family and traveled the world until they moved to Lake Tahoe. She has a B.A. in Developmental Psychology from UCSC. She was married and became a mother during that time. She was Owner/Director of Popper-Keizer Afterschool program in 1982 and then in 1986 at Natural Bridges Child Development Center. She enjoyed singing, skiing, rock climbing, swimming, surfing, gardening, camping and running. She received her doctorate with honors in Clinical Psychology in 1999 with an Emphasis in Child and Family from CSPP. In 1999-2001, she worked in private practice and was a psychologist at Children’s Hospital Oakland. She began to supervise at The Link to Children in 2002. She began doing evaluations for Alta Bates Infant Follow Up Clinic in 2003. She participated in research on Attachment, Emotion and Health, the effects of Secretin for Autism, predicting autism in very young children, and the effectiveness of inclusive Sports. She was divorced in 2006 and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2007. In 2008, she left CHO, adding a second office to do Developmental Evaluations for Regional Centers. ori now enjoys bicycling, skiing, swimming, singing, gardening, camping and cooking with her new family.

Jennifer Murphy-Sims

Infant Development Specialist and Physical Therapist, Early Intervention Services, Parent Infant Program and Early Childhood Mental Health Program, Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland, Oakland, California, USA

Jennifer Murphy Sims (PT) is an Infant Development Specialist currently practicing in Oakland, CA in relationship-based early intervention programs to support at risk infants and toddlers. She received her degree in Physiotherapy from the University College Dublin in 1987 and has worked extensively as a physical therapist in a variety of settings. Jennifer received additional training in Infant Mental Health through the Harris Early Childhood Mental Health Training Program. She has broad clinical experience working with infants and children with special needs in the home, community and hospital-based environments in the USA, UK and Ireland.

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