Children with developmental coordination disorder: can underlying perceptual disability be remediated through specific training?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPsychological Reports. 2017, 1-13. 10.1177/0033294116687761
This study tested the effect of task-specific training of a perceptual ability for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) compared to control children. A manual matching task (target location and pointing task) was used, which required the children to locate target pins either visually (seen target) or proprioceptively (felt target), while matching to the located target was always carried out without vision. Thirty-one children (11–12 years) were selected based on teacher statements regarding everyday motor skill performance, the DSM-IV criteria, and the Movement ABC test. Based on this, 10 children with obvious motor problems were placed in the DCD group (Trg-DCD), 9 children with no identified motor problems were placed in a training group (Trg-N), and 12 children also with no identified motor problems were placed in a control group. All the children were tested pre and post to training on a manual matching task. In the pretest, the children in the DCD group were significantly inferior to the control groups in the proprioceptive condition with both the preferred and nonpreferred hands. In the posttest, after the training periode was completed, the DCD subjects showed significant improvement in the proprioceptive condition for both preferred and nonpreferred hands. For the other groups, no significant training effects were observed across the training period. It is concluded that children in the DCD group may benefit from specific training of perceptual abilities, because they have motor control resources not exploited due to a lack of relevant experience.