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Measurement of Fine-Motor Skills in Young Children with Visual Impairment

Publication by: Reimer, Annemieke M.; Cox, Ralf F.A.; Boonstra, F. Nienke; Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Maria W.G.

Abstract

Insight into the typical motor development of children with visual impairment (VI) is necessary in order to recognise whether children with VI are at risk of motor developmental problems, and to evaluate the effectiveness of exercise interventions. In 2003 the ManuVis was published with reference values for children with VI of ages from 6 to 11 years. This paper reports on a follow-up study of the ManuVis focused on: a) comparison of fine motor skills between children with VI and normal sighted (NS) children; b) sampling norm-references for children with VI in the 4-11 years age range to increase validity; and c) test-retest and inter-rater reliability. In total 256 children with VI and 162 NS children were included in the study. The results demonstrated that children with VI needed significantly more time than NS children to perform all test items, especially at younger ages. Performance time decreased in both children with VI and NS children from the younger to the older age groups, but NS children reached their minimum at a younger age. Test-retest reliability on the items varied from moderate to excellent and inter-rater reliability was excellent. The results suggest that children with VI have slower and more prolonged motor learning than NS children. The ManuVis differentiates between typical and atypical fine-motor performance of children with VI between 4 and 9 years of age, and is useful for monitoring fine-motor skills in children with VI from 4 years to (at least) 11 years.

In: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, vol.27, nr.3, 2015, 24p.; lit.opg.