Visuomotor Function in School-Age Children with Single-Suture Craniosynostosis

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Abstract

Objective:

Previous studies have shown that infants and young children with single-suture craniosynostosis (SSC) perform more poorly on tests of visuomotor function than children without SSC. However, previous studies are limited by small sample sizes and little is known about the persistence of visuomotor problems into the school-age years. The aim of this study was to compare visuomotor function in children with and without SSC at the beginning of elementary school.

Methods:

The study included 179 children with SSC (cases) and 183 children without SSC (controls). Visuomotor function was measured by the NEPSY-II Arrows, the Purdue Pegboard Test, and the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of visual-motor integration. Case-control differences were estimated using linear regression, adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, and maternal IQ.

Results:

Cases scored more poorly on all measures of visuomotor function, although the magnitude of case-control differences varied across measures. The greatest differences were observed for the Purdue Pegboard Test, with an average adjusted difference of −0.2 to −0.4 SD points (p-values ranged from .008 to .05). Case-control differences were small in magnitude for other measures of visuomotor function, ranging from −0.01 to −0.1 SD points (p-values ranged from .22 to .88).

Conclusion:

Children with SSC experienced deficits in manual dexterity into the school-age years but were similar to children without SSC on measures of visual processing. These findings advocate for the assessment of fine-motor function as part of school readiness evaluations in children with SSC.

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