The effects of a perceptual-motor development program on children with Developmental Coordination Disorder
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a perceptual-motor development programme for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), as identified on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC). A pre- and post-test design was employed in the study and data were reported as case studies. The programme included a cognitive approach to perceptual-motor activities, with special attention to visual perception. The intervention programme was implemented over six consecutive weeks, with two 45-minute sessions each week. The motor proficiency of nine of the 12 children who participated in this study improved to the point where they were no longer classified as having DCD. The reasons for this improvement could be attributed to the regular practise provided by the perceptual-motor activities that were the content of the program and to the method of presentation, i.e. the cognitive strategies that were child-centred, which could have helped develop self-confidence in the children. These results are in agreement with the research of Schoemaker and Kalverboer (1994) that many children with DCD may learn to overcome or cope with their movement problems. The three children who performed most poorly on the M-ABC pre-test did not improve over the course of the intervention programme. A thorough examination of their perceptual-motor system could provide more information about the various factors that may contribute to their movement problems. It is also possible that the programme simply was not long enough for these children (they did not get enough practise) and/or they were not able to respond to the child-centred cognitive approach in such a short period of time.