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My son has a very difficult time imitating motor movements he watches. I want him to do martial arts of some sort but I know he couldn't follow a model of the movements. He can't "copy" the simple motor movements.
 

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<p>Well, dyspraxia was part of ds' SPD diagnosis, and he has a very hard time mirroring someone else's movements. I remember one photo session when he was 6 where the poor photographer just couldn't get across to ds how he wanted him to stand. Eventually he had to physically place ds' body. Could it be something like that? I don't know if that's specifically related to SPD or autism.</p>
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<p>I would think that a good martial arts teacher would have experience with kids who can't copy movements.</p>
 

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<p>DS has Developemental Coordination Disorder which causes him difficulty with gross and fine motor skills.  He has taken Martial Arts, and though it took him 4 months to move from White belt to Orange, and another 6 to move from Orange to Yellow (usually it only takes about a month and half or so for those) he did eventually make it.  My point is, it may take your son longer to get going, but I know ds's instructor was really patient with him.  We informed him of the issues and he took extra time to help ds out.  Alot of martial arts is mirroring, but even so, alot of it is actually the instructor working hands on, helping the child form a fist, helping them actually move their leg properly for a sidekick vs. a round kick.  So with a child that has trouble mirroring behaviors, they may just have to take some extra time to assist him more.  I would inform the instructors of the issues of course, and you may want to find a smaller school to use.  But I wouldn't allow this to stop my child from participating in an activity if it can be prevented.  Oh and for DCD, it was actually suggested by ds's neuro that he take gymnastics, or martial arts to help him learn to cope with his problem.  So this may be good for your ds on that level as well.</p>
 

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<p>It is definitely spectrum.  I've always felt it might be part of a processing issue, kind of like how getting feed back echos or delayed audio on a telephone can make it hard to talk, a delay in processing the other person's movements or lower ability to predict future movements can make it more difficult to mimic since you're seeing a new movement at the time your brain is processing a different movement.  I haven't seen any research on it, but it's definitely something I've noticed.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1286930/spectrum-or-just-my-kid#post_16133615"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>Well, dyspraxia was part of ds' SPD diagnosis, and he has a very hard time mirroring someone else's movements. I remember one photo session when he was 6 where the poor photographer just couldn't get across to ds how he wanted him to stand. Eventually he had to physically place ds' body. Could it be something like that? I don't know if that's specifically related to SPD or autism.</p>
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<p>I would think that a good martial arts teacher would have experience with kids who can't copy movements.</p>
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Actually, this is what precipitated my post--a photo session. It was sort of upsetting to me to be honest. I had to move him in place too. And this is with the photographer and his twin "showing him" with the photographer in front of him and twin right beside him. I don't know..just one of those down times I guess.<br><br>
Petie1104, I'm glad you responded with that experience. Maybe if I find the right person he could do this then. I will try I think. Something tells me my kiddo would really benefit from martial arts if he could possibly manage it with self esteem intact. I'll make some calls.<br><br>
Kreeblim, yes..I do think it's like some type of processing delay or it almost feels like he can't transfer what he sees to his body. I remember once we were working in an autism therapy and he could follow motions like wave a person forward, backward, stop (hand up), turn around. He then tried to direct me. It was clear he was trying to make those motions but they were so backward and mixed up and "off" that I honestly couldn't follow. He thought he was doing what I did.<br><br>
I'm having a really down time right now worrying about him in the future. Ugh. I hope I can snap out of this before Christmas.
 

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<p>My DS also has trouble following motor movements.  Anything physical with him requires extra time and patience.  I have wondered if it's because of his hypotonia, or something else.  I've found the only way to help him is to physically put his body and arms and legs where they need to be and explain it to him slowly, moving them for him as necessary.  If a karate instructor were to take the extra time and do that kind of instruction, it could be helpful.  If they won't do it during a regular karate class lesson, maybe you could pay for a bit of one on one time just to get him going...?</p>
 

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<p>I'm self-diagnosed Aspie or HFA.  I was put in a ballet class at age 4.  I just stood there looking around, in my own world.  Not only did I not know what was going on, I had no idea that anything was going on.  My eyes settled on another girl's pink cable-knit leg warmers and I visually traced the pattern of the stitching.  I was really enjoying following the pattern when a teacher came up behind me and lifted my arms above my head.  I was startled and confused.  Why are my arms going up?  I looked up because I thought I was supposed to reach for something up there.  Was something hanging from the ceiling?  Nothing was up there.  I pulled my arms down.  The teacher told me something I didn't understand and referenced other people.  I realized something was going on, but I didn't know what.  I looked at the other girls, but it was all just mass chaos to me.  I couldn't interpret their movements or translate it into my own body. </p>
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<p>No worries though!  Somewhere along the way growing up, I figured it out.  I"m pretty athletic these days and participated in a lot of sports since high school.  A delay just means it takes longer, a kid can catch up, I'm living proof. </p>
 

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<p>I really could be a motor planning issue ( CP, dysgraphia, dyslexia, visual disability), SPD, or spectrum.</p>
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<p>A child can be dealing with all three, two, or only one. All of them can cause difficulty in body movement/copying movement. I worked as a Spec.Ed teacher and have seen difficulty with all three in all sorts of different settings.</p>
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<p>Motor Planning:</p>
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<p>a child can have a motor planning difficulty and struggle w/ Left/Right, their body's place in space, muscle imbalances, physical awkwardness, have depth perception/visual discrimination troubles. Poor coordination and difficulty following visual physical cues at an early age is often seen with dysgraphia. Some kids have a visual issue that goes unresolved until they entere school (not far or near sighted as much as a depth perception and/or visual discrimination issue).</p>
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<p>SPD:</p>
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<p>Again- often a poor idea of where their body is in space, but it is also accompanied by overstimulation, stimming, increase in SPD when under stress/sensory situations. Kids with SPD often display food intolerances (beyond normal for age), texture intolerances, sound/touch/sight sensitivities,intolerance or a strong craving for of movement (bouncing, spinning,etc)</p>
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<p>ASD:</p>
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<p>Often (except HFA or Aspergers) also has communication delays. poor eye contact, low or no pretend play, non-traditional play with objects, unusual relationships to people, poor social cue reading, delay in social/emotional maturity, obsession or ritualistic behaviors, routine oriented. Often  stims (toe walk,spins, hand flap, noises, tics, etc)</p>
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<p>ASD and SPD often go hand in hand. But you can have SPD w/o ASD and vice versa. Same with Motor Planning difficulties.</p>
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<p>It can be hard to tell what is developed from what without an evauluation.</p>
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<p>I have a DD that has SPD and had a PDD_NOS dx. She would no longer qualify for PDD_NOS since her social skills have increased by leaps and bounds. She still struggles w/ SPD issues and is quirky. She , too, has/had trouble following verbal directions and/or physical directions for copying actions and has gross motor delays. Some of it is age related (how old is your DS??).</p>
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<p>I would talk to an instructor----any kind of physical coordinated activity (gymnastics, martial arts, swimming, etc) is an excellent way to improve the neural pathways and develop muscle memory. All the OT I have ever worked with encourage these sort of activities for all kids that have any sort of physical manifested delay or trouble.  It may be frustrating for him at first, but with a good teacher- it would be helpful!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>KCMichigan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1286930/spectrum-or-just-my-kid#post_16137065"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p>I would talk to an instructor----any kind of physical coordinated activity (gymnastics, martial arts, swimming, etc) is an excellent way to improve the neural pathways and develop muscle memory. All the OT I have ever worked with encourage these sort of activities for all kids that have any sort of physical manifested delay or trouble.  It may be frustrating for him at first, but with a good teacher- it would be helpful!</p>
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I agree that it is worth pursuing. I say this as a parent of a teenager who had similar challenges. I would strongly encourage you to explore these sorts of activities (martial arts, gymnastics, dance, swimming, yoga, horseback riding). Do it while your child is young and before they develop resistance to trying something new. The benefits aren't just limited to getting exercise and the enjoyment of the activity. Improving these neural pathways makes a huge difference in thinking, coordination, etc. Also, I would not assume if your child has a hard time at the beginning that they will forever struggle at the activity. We found slower learning in the initial phases was surprisingly followed up by success. Enjoyment in the activity and work ethic are worth a lot and they will lead to success. I agree you want to choose the instructor carefully, but I think you'll find with most of these individual activities that many instructors will be helpful and have a good attitude. Often the activities are built to be self paced with lots of possibility of noticing successes along the way.</p>
 

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<p>it's true of my ASD dd, too.</p>
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<p>Swimming was the best thing ever for her, partly because it's the same thing over and over!!</p>
 

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<p>There's so much focus on what's wrong with kids, what deficiencies they have, what it may or may not be a predecessor for. To tell you the truth, children today are coming in with unique strengths and interests and focuses but as with an extreme strength or interest there is going to be some, maybe many, things that they are not very good at or interested in and that's okay. I would like to see less focus on diagnoses and deficiencies, on defining children by the number of letters you can tag them with (ADD, ADHD, SPD, ASD, and on and on), and more focus on discovering what their strengths are, what their interests and focuses are. There are certainly neurological disruptions and deficiencies in children now due to the amount of neurotoxins they encounter in utero and in childhood through a myriad of sources, vaccines certainly being a major contributor, and so the focus should not be on attributing their differences and deficiencies to their character and personality but to strengthening and detoxing their bodies and supporting their own individual genius.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RachelHart</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1286930/spectrum-or-just-my-kid#post_16139669"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>There's so much focus on what's wrong with kids, what deficiencies they have, what it may or may not be a predecessor for. To tell you the truth, children today are coming in with unique strengths and interests and focuses but as with an extreme strength or interest there is going to be some, maybe many, things that they are not very good at or interested in and that's okay. I would like to see less focus on diagnoses and deficiencies, on defining children by the number of letters you can tag them with (ADD, ADHD, SPD, ASD, and on and on), and more focus on discovering what their strengths are, what their interests and focuses are. There are certainly neurological disruptions and deficiencies in children now due to the amount of neurotoxins they encounter in utero and in childhood through a myriad of sources, vaccines certainly being a major contributor, and so the focus should not be on attributing their differences and deficiencies to their character and personality but to strengthening and detoxing their bodies and supporting their own individual genius.</p>
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Personally, I would like to see people stop describing me and my child as victims simply because I'm not afraid to talk about our particular strengths and weaknesses in the same way that other humans are free to talk about theirs.  </p>
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<p>But I guess you're right...some kids are just "special" and shouldn't be treated as if they were "normal" kids.  They are simply diseased and full of toxins so any talk of helping them deal with a particular situation should focus around how to rid them of the toxin causing the problem.  Let me get right on "curing" my son of his personality. <img alt="eyesroll.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif"></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RachelHart</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1286930/spectrum-or-just-my-kid#post_16139669"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>There's so much focus on what's wrong with kids, what deficiencies they have, what it may or may not be a predecessor for. To tell you the truth, children today are coming in with unique strengths and interests and focuses but as with an extreme strength or interest there is going to be some, maybe many, things that they are not very good at or interested in and that's okay. I would like to see less focus on diagnoses and deficiencies, on defining children by the number of letters you can tag them with (ADD, ADHD, SPD, ASD, and on and on), and more focus on discovering what their strengths are, what their interests and focuses are. There are certainly neurological disruptions and deficiencies in children now due to the amount of neurotoxins they encounter in utero and in childhood through a myriad of sources, vaccines certainly being a major contributor, and so the focus should not be on attributing their differences and deficiencies to their character and personality but to strengthening and detoxing their bodies and supporting their own individual genius.</p>
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Part of what contributes to their character is how they learn to deal with their disorders. Not to mention that my son's issues have nothing to do with "toxins" he encountered in utero or out.  His are due to lack of oxygen from having been in distress during birth. </p>
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<p>My daughter's personality is very much formed by her Asperger's.  This can be a benefit, but it can also cause many issues.  By identifying the diagnosis, we were then able to understand her personality and how best to help her discover the world around her.</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RachelHart</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1286930/spectrum-or-just-my-kid#post_16139669"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>There's so much focus on what's wrong with kids, what deficiencies they have, what it may or may not be a predecessor for. To tell you the truth, children today are coming in with unique strengths and interests and focuses but as with an extreme strength or interest there is going to be some, maybe many, things that they are not very good at or interested in and that's okay. I would like to see less focus on diagnoses and deficiencies, on defining children by the number of letters you can tag them with (ADD, ADHD, SPD, ASD, and on and on), and more focus on discovering what their strengths are, what their interests and focuses are. There are certainly neurological disruptions and deficiencies in children now due to the amount of neurotoxins they encounter in utero and in childhood through a myriad of sources, vaccines certainly being a major contributor, and so the focus should not be on attributing their differences and deficiencies to their character and personality but to strengthening and detoxing their bodies and supporting their own individual genius.</p>
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I think your post comes across unnecessarily critical. You might want to read here for a bit before assuming that parents on this board aren't working with their children's strengths. But even if a child has strengths in one area, that doesn't negate the fact that some children do have difficulty with things that most neurotypical children can do easily. One of the reasons for this board is to discuss precisely those kinds of difficulties. How can we help a child who just can't mirror movements? There are times when being able to do that would be very helpful. Should we just not try? Or perhaps is there a better way to help them learn? Children who are not typically developing learn differently and it's helpful to be able to discuss that.</p>
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<p>And while I agree that neurotoxins have increased, please don't assume that all atypical development is due to this. We've got sensory issues running through 3 generations of the family. So you can't explain my MIL's, husband's and son's dyspraxia and sensory issues through an increase in neurotoxins and vaccines. MIL wasn't vaccinated (she was born in 1939). Dh was vaccinated less  than ds (yes, my children are vaxed and I'm very comfortable with our decision). Guess who's dyspraxia is least pronounced? Our son's. Mostly because he, unlike dh and MIL, got occupational therapy. I could have celebrated his 'differences', but I chose to get him help with the things that were difficult for him. He's never going to be a tremendous athlete, but he'll be able to participate. He WANTS to participate. Without OT, that would not have been possible. Why would I deny him that?</p>
 

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<p>Is this the son who had vision therapy?  I might not be remembering correctly, so sorry if I'm wrong.  But if I am remembering correctly, is this something that was worked on in VT?</p>
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My dd's dx makes communication easier. It's a short cut. And she's completely normal for someone with asperger's.<br><br>
I'm quite sure that members of both my & my dh's family would have been labeled as being on the spectrum, and I suspect that some of them would have had happier lives with the kinds of interventions common today.<br><br>
So it's not that I'm trying to "fix" her, but I am working to make sure she has the best possible life for her, the happiest and healthiest life, the one where she can bring her gifts to the world.
 

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<p>It sounds like a motor planning issue. My son has motor planning problems, called Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder. For my son, it is a part of his ASD, but iti is possible to have dypraxia without being on the autism spectrum. For my son, it affects all motor skills: gross motor, fine motor, and oral-motor.</p>
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<p>He had to work hard to teach DS how to copy other people's motor actions. And then it takes him a long time to learn how to corodinate his body parts to perform motor tasks. OT ans swimming both help a lot.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RachelHart</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1286930/spectrum-or-just-my-kid#post_16139669"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>There's so much focus on what's wrong with kids, what deficiencies they have, what it may or may not be a predecessor for. To tell you the truth, children today are coming in with unique strengths and interests and focuses but as with an extreme strength or interest there is going to be some, maybe many, things that they are not very good at or interested in and that's okay. I would like to see less focus on diagnoses and deficiencies, on defining children by the number of letters you can tag them with (ADD, ADHD, SPD, ASD, and on and on), and more focus on discovering what their strengths are, what their interests and focuses are. There are certainly neurological disruptions and deficiencies in children now due to the amount of neurotoxins they encounter in utero and in childhood through a myriad of sources, vaccines certainly being a major contributor, and so the focus should not be on attributing their differences and deficiencies to their character and personality but to strengthening and detoxing their bodies and supporting their own individual genius.</p>
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Getting a diagnosis is not "defining children by the number of letters you can tag them with" or only looking at a child's deficiencies. A diagnosis can be a wonderful tool to help parents find resources that allow them to use thier children's stregths to help them develop the areas where they have weaknesses.</p>
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<p>My son (age 6) does have a list of diagnoses: ASD, Hyperlexia, Dyspraxia, OCA (oculocutaneous albinism), asthma, and a chromosome anomoly.  None of those "define" him. But each one presents different issues that impact his development - some physical, some social - emotional, some neurological. Understanding these issues helps us and his teachers find the best methods to teach him. For example, understanding Hyperlexia has been key for us and his teachers to understand his learning style, which is significantly different from typically-developing kids. Understanding Dypraxia has helped us realize that motor tasks need to be broken down into simpler steps and that his refusal to do complex tasks is often based on his inability, rather than him choosing to be uncooperative. Understanding albinism has helped us get a better grasp of his visual problems, which was an inportant step, because he is not able to verbally telll us what or how he sees.  </p>
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<p>None of these disorders are things to be ashamed of; so we name them and teach our son about them. None of these disorders define him; but they all play a part in who he is. None of these disorders stop us (his parents), other family memebers, his teachers, or his therapists from knowing and appreciating what a wonderful individual he is, with definate strengths, strong interests, a unique perspective on the world around him, and a delightful. quirky sense of humor.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This is the vision therapy kid. He had major issues in that area. We stopped therapy when the tracking and convergence were fixed because the Optometrist was impatient and so negative with my kid. He was the worst he'd seen and on and on. I did what he assigned with my son rather than him making any significant gains in office. I think they were used to working with kids not on the spectrum essentially. It never occurred to me that further therapy in that area could help. I will need to look into that.<br><br>
I feel like much of my son's spectrum stuff comes back to visual and processing the visual. I do think there are motor planning issues and he's got major lack of coordination. He's low tone as well and has proprioceptive issues. It all likely plays together.<br><br>
He's got great strengths and, like most spectrum kids, passionate interests. I'm just looking for thoughts on helping him in a weak area. No big deal. I see my son as a whole person.<br><br>
I do think this sort of thing would likely help him. I'm going to try to talk to the local martial arts and gymnastics places to see if I can get a feel for who would be best working with him. Thank you all for sharing your experiences with your own kids and yourself! It helps me to read that.<br>
 

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<p>rachelle, i believe you're not far from indy.  i'm in cinccinnati, and i know of a dev. optometrist here.  if you're ever interested in his info, let me know.  i haven't been to him personally, but i think a visit to him will be on our list soon enough.  i think a lot of my dd's struggles involve processing, as well - physically, auditorally, proprioceptively, etc.  that's why i think swimming is so comforting for her - for one moment, her body feels safe, functional, successful.</p>
 
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