This longitudinal research examined the development of motor proficiency in 99 children with Down syndrome born in Brisbane from 1973 to 1984. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP) was used to assess motor proficiency, and the Stanford-Binet L-M was used to obtain a measure of general intelligence. Although significant progress on the BOTMP subtest scores occurred with age for most subtests, this was related to mental age (MA) rather than chronological age (CA). Progress related to CA was associated with upper limb coordination and upper limb speed and dexterity subtests from CA 10 to 12 years, not from 12 to 16 years. There were considerable inter- and intraindividual differences on subtest items. A cluster analysis of 263 assessments revealed no one profile of strengths and weaknesses. Two distinct profiles were found with high scores in either the visual–motor or the running speed and agility subtests, with balance scores at a low level of proficiency in both clusters. Across the study groupings, sex differences were also evident.
Special thanks are extended to the families and children who are part of the Down Syndrome Research Program and to my colleagues, especially Dr. Pat Gunn.
The author is with the Schonell Special Education Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Qld 4072, Australia.