Fundamental motor skills in children with moderate mental retardation

Por: A. Pappa, C. H. Evaggelinou, Irini Varda, P. Giagazoglou e S. Goudesidou.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

Fundamental movement skill is an organized series of basic movements that involves the combination of movement patterns of two or more body segments which may be categorized as stability, locomotor or manipulative movement ( Gallahue, 1996). For individual with mental retardation the most important benefit of fundamental motor skills development is in the area of functional skills. Competencies in those skills can carry over to the functional skills necessary to perform movements required in everyday living ( Eichstaedt & Lavay, 1992). The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of the fundamental motor skills in children and young adults with moderate mental retardation (MR). The present study also assessed the differences between boys and girls and among different age groups.

Methods

Participants were n=35 students (26 boys and 9 girls) with moderate MR aged from 9 to 15 years old. The children attended special schools from five different prefectures of Greece . Subjects were divided in three age groups (9-11, 12-13 and 14-15 years old). The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD, Ulrich, 1985) was used for the assessment of the fundamental motor skills. The TGMD examines seven locomotor and five object control skills. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric statistic methods were used. The Kruskal- Wallis test was used to examine the differences in performance between boys and girls.

Results

Results indicated that there were no differences among age groups in the performance of fundamental motor skills for children with moderate M.R. (x 2=1.45, p=0.49). In addition, no differences were found between boys and girls (U=78.5, p=0.15).

Discussion/ Conclusions

The results indicated that, as age increases, quality in performance in fundamental motor skills does not improve for children with moderate M.R. These results may be due to the absence of specific curriculum programs, in special schools, with emphasize in the improvement of those skills. However previous research has supported changes in qualitative performance as age increases in children with M.R. and their nonhadicapped peers (Ulrich, 1984, Evaggelinou, & Pappa, 1996). Therefore adapted physical educators, should emphasize in a special designed adapted physical education program which is geared towards the development of fundamental motor skills for the children with moderate mental retardation.

 

References

[1]. Eichstaedt C. & Lavay B.W. (1992). Physical activity for individuals with mental retardation: Infancy through adulthood. Champain, IL: Human Kinetics.

[2]. Evaggelidou C. & Pappa A. (1996). Gross motor development of Greek elementary school children. World Pre-Olympic Congress in physical Activity, Sports and Health, Dallas, 10-14 July.

[3]. Gallahue D.L. (1996). Development physical education for today’s children. Dubugue, IA: Brown & Benchmark

[4]. Ulrich. D. (1984). A comparison of the qualitative motor performance of normal, educable, and trainable mentally retarded students. In: Adapted Physical Activity from theory to Application. Eason R.L., Smith T.L., & Caron F. Human Kinetics Publishers. Champain, Ill: Human Kinetics.

[5]. Ulrich D. (1985). Test of Gross Motor Development. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

 

 

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