The nature and scope of ocular muscle control deviations among 7 to 8 year-old children diagnosed with DCD
Pienaar, Anita Elizabeth
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The purpose of the study was to determine, as ascertained by different ocular muscle controlled functions, what the nature and scope of these problems are among 7 to 8 year-old children diagnosed with DCD. Thirty-two children between the ages of 7 - 8 took part in the study. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) was used to classify children into moderate and severe DCD categories (<15th and the 5th percentile) while the Sensory Input Systems Screening Test and QNST II were used to evaluate visual functions that are controlled by the six eye ocular muscles. Correlation matrices and a two-way variance table were used to determine the relationship between DCD and vision functions. The results confirmed significant correlations between DCD and ocular muscle control deviations. Relationships were found between all the ocular muscle controlled functions (fixation, visual pursuit, left and right eye, ocular alignment right eye) and the MABC-total, manual dexterity, ball skills and static and dynamic balance. Significant correlations, with small (d≥0.2) to moderate practical significance (d≥0.5) were found between the different MABC sub sections and the ocular muscle controlled functions. The results further indicated that in most cases where children have been diagnosed with severe DCD, they were classified in Class 3 (more than three symptoms indicating poor ocular muscle control). These percentages varied from 26.67% to 83.33%, with the highest percentage problems found during visual pursuit with the right eye. It can be concluded that DCD and the severity thereof and visual deviations are related, and that children experiencing such problems could possibly be hampered academically and motorically.