Differences in cognitive abilities between kindergarten students with and without dcd

Por: Dimitra Koutsouki, Emmanouil Skordilis e Katerina Asonitou.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

The cognitive skills of DCD students have not been examined in depth1. The study was designed to examine the cognitive skills of kindergarten students with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). For that reason, we used the judgment of teachers to select students with motor coordination difficulties. The initial sample was tested with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC)2, to confirm the presence of DCD. Eleven children were finally chosen with DCD and constituted our experimental group. Eleven more students, much paired according to age and gender with the experimental group, constituted the non DCD control group.  All students, ranged from 5 to 6 years old, were enrolled in the "regular" kindergarten school program and had never been diagnosed with any type of disability.

Methods

Both groups of children (with DCD and without DCD), were examined with the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS)3. The CAS assesses the cognitive abilities of students in various ages. For the purposes of the study, we used the following CAS subscales: a) Attention, b) Simultaneous Coding and c) Planning. Consequently, we used a MANOVA to examine the CAS differences between kindergarten students: a) with DCD and b) without DCD. The statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS)4 was used for the analyses, with a predetermined .05 level of significance.

Results/Discussion

Significant differences emerged between DCD and non DCD kindergarten students in the mean vector of scores with the three CAS subscales (Wilks’ Lambda Λ= .578, p < .05). Subsequent discriminant function analysis revealed that only the simultaneous coding significantly separated our sample to the DCD (M = 27,91) and non DCD (M = 37,00) groups.  A total of 86,4% of cases were classified correctly. Finally, three univariate t tests revealed significant differences between groups (p < .05). The DCD group scored lower than the non DCD group in all three cognitive CAS subscales. Teachers working with kindergarten students should be aware of the weaknesses they possess in certain cognitive skills and address their needs accordingly.

 

References

[1]. Das, J. P. (1986). Information processing and motivation asdeterminants of performance in children with learning disabilities. In H. Whiting & M. Wade (Eds.), Themes in motor development (pp. 127 - 142). Hingham, MA: Kluwer-Academic.

[2]. Henderson, S., & Sugden, D. (1992). Movement Assessment Battery for Children. London: The Psychological Corporation Ltd.

[3]. Naglieri, J. A., & Das, J. P. (1997). Cognitive Assessment System: Interpretive Handbook. Chicago, IL: Riverside Publishing.

[4]. Norusis, M. J. (1993). SPSS for Windows. Professional Sstatistics release 6.0. Chicago: SPSS Inc.

 

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