A comparison of different interventions for children with developmental coordination disorder
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Research indicates that Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is associated with a poor self-concept and high levels of anxiety (peens et al., 2004; Piek et al., 2000; Skinner & Piek, 2001). Research also substantiates that participation in a well planned motor intervention programme can enhance the self-concept of a child with DCD (Colchico et al., 2005). Literature further indicates that DCD is associated with neuro-motor problems which may vary in severity (Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2005). It is further indicated that more boys than girls are diagnosed with DCD and also that, in general, boys have a higher self-concept than girls (Maldonado-Duran, 2002; Stein et al., 1998). The aim of this study was firstly, to determine the influence of DCD on the self-concept and anxiety of 7-9 year old children in the Potchefstroom district. Secondly, the study aimed to determine whether gender and the ethnic group of DCD children have an effect on the success of different intervention programmes. A third aim was to determine whether a motor based intervention programme, a self-concept enhancing programme or a combination of the two (psycho-motor intervention programme) would have the best effect on enhancing children's self-concept and motor proficiency. Lastly, the study attempted to determine whether neuro-motor problems could have a negative influence on an intervention programme for DCD children. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC), Bruininks-Oseretsky Test for Motor Proficiency (BOTMP-SF), Sensory Input Measurement Instrument (SIM) and Quick Neurological Screening Test II (QNST) were used to determine children's motor proficiency as well as possible neuro-motor problems. The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (Child Form) (TSCS-CF) and Child Anxiety Scale (CAS) were used to determine the children's self-concept and anxiety respectively. One way variance of analysis, repeated measures analysis, independent t-testing, co-variance of analysis as well as correlational coefficients (r) were conducted, using the Statistica computer package in order to analyze the data according to the above-mentioned aims. A p-value of smaller than or equal to 0.05 was accepted as a significant difference. From the results of the study it seemed that the self-concept and anxiety of randomly selected 7-9 year old children (N=58) diagnosed with DCD are negatively influenced and that girls are more vulnerable to these influences. Repeated measure analyses over a period of one year showed that of the three programmes the motor intervention programme showed the best results at improving the children's motor proficiency while, on the other hand, the psychomotor intervention programme improved their self-concept most. Ethnic group and gender did not have a significant effect on the success of intervention programmes. Lastly, it was found that underlying neuro-motor problems could influence the effect of an intervention programme negatively. It is clear from this study that DCD has a negative effect on children, but that participation in a well planned intervention programme will have positive effects on both their motor proficiency and self-concept.
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