Assessing the Fundamental Movement Skills of Children With Intellectual Disabilities in the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program

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Hayley Kavanagh Faculty of Science and Health, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Special Olympics Ireland, Sport Ireland Campus, Dublin, Ireland

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Mika Manninen Faculty of Science and Health, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

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Sarah Meegan Faculty of Science and Health, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

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Johann Issartel Faculty of Science and Health, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
MoveAhead Limited, DCU INVENT, Dublin, Ireland

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Mastering the ability to move proficiently from a young age is an important contributor to lifelong physical activity participation. This study examined fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency in children with intellectual disabilities (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years) and typically developing children (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years). Participants were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development–3rd edition and balance subtest from the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2. The FMS proficiency of typically developing children including mastery/near mastery level (combined variable representing mastery, which is achieving all criteria for the skill, over both trials and near mastery, wherein a participant performs all but one of the components of the skill correctly) was significantly higher than for children with intellectual disabilities. A similar observation was made with multiple linear regression analysis testing the interaction effect of participant group and age/gender on all three FMS subcomponents. The results presented will help establish a baseline of FMS proficiency and guidelines for future intervention for children with intellectual disabilities.

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