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Barry Thombs and David Sugden

Forty Down syndrome children in five groups between the ages of 6 and 16 years were examined on a number of manual tasks. These involved a variety of hand actions during peg displacement, transportation, manipulation, and relocation. A number of age related changes were noted. With increasing age there was an almost linear increase in the use of precision as opposed to power grips, offering the older children a greater range of responses. In general the older children were more consistent in their approach than younger children, although this was not a linear increase and was also dependent on the type of task. On a number of speed measures, the older children were faster at performing the task, although small subject numbers and within-group variability prevented some differences from being significant.