The Movement Evaluation Continuum
A Bridge Between Theory and Practice
The Movement Evaluation Continuum (MEC) is a unique assessment tool to help service providers operationally define and categorize movement, identify a movement deficit in a child or group of children, and create fun activities to address that deficit.
Using the three basic elements of all physical activity, Space, Time, and Energy, the MEC distinguishes between motor control deficits, which are often related to the performance of a task, and functional movement skills, which are the skills children use every day, while moving in their environment using their own weight in space and time.
The MEC helps the clinician better understand what children with disabilities experience daily, see the total picture, and create treatment plans that address children as a whole. Can they move freely in a room? Or is one child stiff and restricted, stuck in a corner away from the others? Do the children feel and understand the rhythms of everyday life? Or are they out of sync with the ebb and flow of their friends in the school? Can each child control their body weight, so they enter a room easily and with confidence? Or is there such little understanding of one’s own weight, that they cannot safely hold themselves together and fully participate in the activities of one’s school or community.
The MEC uses a simple scale of 1-10. Functional movement is seen between 4-7 where the general population moves. While the MEC is a new way of thinking, it is easy to understand, transferable to different disciplines, and uses common language and terms. Participants integrate new concepts and methods into existing knowledge to identify movement deficits in children, and create fun, more informed ways to target treatment.
Introducing the Movement Evaluation Continuum to the NYCDOE; a method to assess a child's ability to move functionally using Space, Time and Energy.
Participants create targeted activities to address dysfunction.
The MEC is a direct approach that helps create a bridge between theory and practice. It requires no experience and is accessible to all disciplines. Here, Ellen refers to her beloved dance teacher, Bessie Schönberg, who reminded her how to keep things "simple, quick and easy to do".
(A "Bessie" is a New York Dance and Performance Award.)