The Association Between Motor Skills and Academic Achievement Among Pediatric Survivors of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Objective Assess the association between fine motor (FM) and visual–motor integration (VMI) skills and academic achievement in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivors. Methods In this 28-site cross-sectional study of 256 children in first remission, a mean of 8.9 ± 2.2 years after treatment for standard-risk precursor-B ALL, validated measures of FM, VMI, reading, math, and intelligence were administered at mean follow-up age of 12.8 ± 2.5 years. Results VMI was significantly associated with written math calculation ability (p < .0069) after adjusting for intelligence (p < .0001). VMI was more strongly associated with math in those with lower intelligence (p = .0141). Word decoding was also significantly associated with VMI but with no effect modification by intelligence. FM skills were not associated with either reading or math achievement. Conclusion These findings suggest that VMI is associated with aspects of math and reading achievement in leukemia survivors. These skills may be amenable to intervention.

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