Twenty-one children with Down syndrome (DS) and 20 without disability, ages 3 to 11 years, completed the experiment in which they were asked to grasp and lift cardboard cubes of different sizes (2.2 to 16.2 cm in width). Three conditions were used: (a) increasing the size from the smallest to the largest cube, (b) decreasing the size from the largest to the smallest, and (c) a random order of sizes. Children with DS were found to have smaller hand sizes in comparison to age-matched children without DS. In addition, the shift from one-handed to two-handed grasping appeared at a smaller cube size for children with DS than for children without DS. However, when the dimensionless ratio between object size and hand size was considered, the differences between groups disappeared, indicating that the differences in grasping patterns between children with and without DS can be attributed to differences in body size.
Geert J.P. Savelsbergh, John van der Kamp and Walter E. Davis
Paula F. Polastri and and José A. Barela
This study examined the effects of experience and practice on the coupling between visual information and trunk sway in infants with Down syndrome (DS). Five experienced and five novice sitters were exposed to a moving room, which was oscillated at 0.2 and 0.5 Hz. Infants remained in a sitting position and data were collected on the first, fourth, and seventh days. On the first day, experienced sitters were more influenced by room oscillation than were novices. On the following days, however, the influence of room oscillation decreased for experienced but increased for novice sitters. These results suggest that the relationship between sensory information and motor action in infants with DS can be changed with experience and practice.