Sensory Contributions to Balance in Boys with Developmental Coordination Disorder

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Frederik J.A. Deconinck Manchester Metropolitan University, UK Ghent University, Belgium

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Dirk De Clercq Ghent University, Belgium

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Rudy Van Coster Ghent University, Belgium

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Ann Oostra Center for Developmental Disorders, Ghent, Belgium

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Griet Dewitte Center for Developmental Disorders, Ghent, Belgium

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Geert J.P. Savelsbergh Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

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Dirk Cambier Ghent University, Belgium

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Matthieu Lenoir Ghent University, Belgium

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This study examined and compared the control of posture during bilateral stance in ten boys with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) of 6-8 years old and ten matched typically developing boys in four sensory conditions (with or without vision, on a firm or complaint surface). In all conditions mean postural sway velocity was larger for the boys with DCD, in spite of a normal score on the balance items of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children. A Group X Condition interaction revealed a larger dependency on vision in the boys with DCD when standing on a firm surface. These results suggest that in this specific subgroup of boys with DCD with predominantly problems in fine motor and ball skills postural control problems may still be prevalent and may possibly be associated with difficulties to re-weight sensory information in response to environmental demands.

Frederik J.A. Deconinck is with the Institute for Biophysical and Clinical Research into Human Movement, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Dirk De Clercq and Matthieu Lenoir are with the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences; Rudy Van Coster is with the Department of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics; Dirk Cambier is with the Department of Physical Therapy and Motor Rehabilitation, all at Ghent University, Belgium. Ann Oostra and Griet Dewitte are with the Center for Developmental Disorders in Ghent, Belgium. Geert J.P. Savelsbergh is with the Institute for Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences at Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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