Profiles and cognitive predictors of motor functions among early school-age children with mild intellectual disabilities

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BackgroundThe purpose of the study was to describe sensorimotor profile in children with mild intellectual disability (ID), and to examine the association between cognitive and motor function.MethodsA total of 233 children with mild ID aged 7 to 8 years were evaluated with measures of cognitive, motor and sensory integrative functioning.ResultsChildren with mild ID performed significantly less well on all test measures. 44.2% of children scored in the impaired range on seven out of 22 sensorimotor measures. They had weaker fine motor skills than gross motor skills. Sensory integrative functions were only mildly impaired. Total IQ substantially predicted overall performance on each motor test. Specifically, verbal comprehension and processing speed indexes were significant predictors of gross and fine motor function.ConclusionsSensorimotor dysfunctions were found to be very frequent in children with mild ID. Early identification of sensorimtor impairments is essential to prompt early intervention and facilitate better integration into regular school settings.

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