|dc.description.abstract||Various researchers have found that visual problems can contribute to clumsiness in children with DCD. One cause of motor development shortfalls that contribute to a DCD classification seems to be weak eye muscle functions. The visual system as well as well-developed eye muscle functions, play an important role in die development of balance, spatial orientation, body awareness and coordination (hand-eye, foot-eye, hand-foot-eye coordination). It also emerges from the literature that children with DCD do not usually outgrow their problems, although controversy still surrounds this aspect.
The aim of this study was twofold. The first aim was to determine, as established by eye muscle
functions, what the nature and scope of visual problems are, that is associated with DCD in 7 and 8 year-old children in Potchefstroom. The second aim was to determine whether 7 and 8 year-old
Potchefstroom children will outgrow their DCD status without any motor intervention, and what the relationship between vision and the lasting effects of DCD status is.
Thirty-two children (20 boys and 12 girls) with an average age of 95.66 months engaged in the
study. During a follow-up study after a year of baseline testing at 83.33 months, the researcher
wanted to determine whether the subjects diagnosed with DCD had possibly outgrown their DCD status. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) (Henderson & Sugden, 1992) was applied for this purpose. The Sensory Input Screening Test (Pyfer, 1987), and the "Quick Neurological Screening Test" (QNST) (Mutti et al., 1998) test batteries were employed to
determine the visual status of the children.
The "Statistica for Windows 2008" computer software was used to analyse the data. Correlation
coefficients as well as two-way variance tables were used for objective one to analyse the
relationship between DCD and vision. The results confirmed correlations between DCD and eye
muscle functions. Relationships were found between different eye muscle functions (fixation,
visual pursuit, left and right eye, ocular alignment right eye) and the MABC total. Significant
correlations, with small practical significance (p 10.2) was found between fine motor skills and
fixation with both eyes, and with the left eye separately, visual pursuit with the right eye, as well as ocular alignment with the right eye, while a correlation with moderate practical significance (p 10.5) was found with fixtion with the right eye. All six eye muscle functions showed significant
correlations with small practical significance (p 10.2) with ball skills. Static and dynamic balance also showed significant correlations with small practical significance (p 10.2) with fixation with both eyes, the left and right eye separately as well as with ocular alignment with the right eye. The results further indicated that in most cases where children have been diagnosed with serious DCD, they were classified in Class 3 (where more than three visual deviations occurred in the subject) regarding their vision. These percentages varied from 36.67% to 83.33%, with the highest percentage problems found in visual pursuit with the right eye.
For objective 2, a dependent t-test was employed to determine the state of the children's DCD after a year has lapsed since diagnosis. The differences between the testing showed that most of the children have not outgrown their DCD status, but that the motor performance of a majority of the children has deteriorated over a period of one year (p 10.00). Furthermore, the percentage visual problems in the group with sustained DCD ranged from 71,87% - 100% (visual pursuit, fixation and ocular alignment), with the most visual problems found in fixation and visual pursuit skills.
It can be concluded from the results that a significant relationship exists between DCD and a variety of visual functions, as determined by the different eye muscle functions. This evidence also indicated that most children will not outgrow their DCD status without any motor intervention programme. Intervention of children who are diagnosed with DCD should therefor include visual therapy.||