Ophthalmic Factors in Developmental Coordination Disorder

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) occurs in a small number of children who present with impaired body/eye coordination. No study of ophthalmic function in DCD exists despite vision’s primary role in perception. Ocular performance was therefore assessed with a battery of tests. Five hundred children aged between 5 and 7 years were involved in the study. Diagnosis of DCD was confirmed for 29 children by the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (ABC); 29 control children were randomly selected. Comprehensive examination with a battery of ophthalmic tests did not reveal any significant difference in visual status between the two groups. Strabismus was found in 5 children from both groups. All 5 children with strabismus from the DCD group showed a similar movement profile with the Motor Competence Checklist. While a causal relationship cannot be discounted, the presence of strabismus appears more likely to be a “hard” neurological sign of central damage common to this group. The evidence seems to indicate that a simple ophthalmic difficulty does not explain problems with movement control.

Mark A. Mon-Williams and Eve Pascal are with the Department of Vision Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K. John P. Wann is with the Department of Psychology, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K.

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