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Neural Plast. 2005; 12(2-3): 183–196.
PMCID: PMC2565450

Postural Control in Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder

Abstract

The development of static balance is a basic characteristic of normal motor development. Most developmental motor tests include a measure of static balance. Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) often fail this item. This study reviews the balance problems of children with DCD. The general conclusion is drawn that under normal conditions static balance control is not a problem for children with DCD. Only in difficult, unattended, or novel situations such children seem to suffer from increased postural sway. These findings raise the question of what happens when balance is lost. The present study addresses the strength of correlation between the electromyography (EMG) and force plate signals in one-leg stance over epochs of stable and unstable balance. Four groups of children were involved in the study: two age groups and a group of children with DCD and balance problems and their controls. The results show a clear involvement of tibialis anterior and peroneus muscles in the control of lateral balance in all conditions and groups. The group of children with DCD and balance problems,however, showed a weaker coupling between EMG and corrective force compared with control children, indicating non-optimal balance control. An evaluation of the existing data in terms of evidence of specific structural deficits associated with DCD provided converging evidence that suggests cerebellar involvement.

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