This study aimed to investigate the extent to which gesture performance depends on input modality and whether gestural development patterns differ in children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Therefore, development of limb gesture was studied in 140 children - 105 control children (94 males, 11 females) and in 35 children with DCD (29 males, six females) divided into three age bands: 5 to 6 years, 7 to 8 years, and 9 to 10 years. Transitive gestural skills were investigated through four input modalities: Imitation, Visual plus Tactile, Visual, and Verbal. Results indicate that limb gestural skills in normally developing children follow a progressive maturation pattern: Imitation, Visual plus Tactile, and visual routes appear to mature before the verbal route and appear to be available earlier to enable the child to perform a correct gesture. The performance of children with DCD throughout the four modalities suggested a general maturational delay. When gestures were required through the Verbal modality, there was a specific deficit in using sensory-motor information and in integrating it into a motor representation. In the Verbal modality, children with DCD performed consistently worse than their control peers and the difference in performance tended to increase rather than improve with age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health