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Hum Mov Sci. 2012 Oct;31(5):1317-27. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2011.11.003. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Altered postural control strategies and sensory organization in children with developmental coordination disorder.

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Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.


The postural control of children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD) was compared under conditions of reduced or conflicting sensory input. Twenty-two children with DCD (16 males, 6 females; mean age 7 years 6 months, SD 1 year 5 months) and 19 children with normal motor development were tested (13 males, 6 females; mean age 6 years 11 months, SD 1 year 1 month). Standing balance, sensory organization and motor control strategy were evaluated using the sensory organization test (SOT). The results revealed that children with DCD had lower composite equilibrium scores (p<.001), visual ratios (p=.005) and vestibular ratios (p=.002) than normal children in the control group. No significant between-group difference in their average somatosensory ratio was observed. Additionally, children with DCD had lower motor strategy scores (swayed more on their hips) than the normal children when forced to depend on vestibular cues alone to balance (p<.05). We conclude that children with DCD had deficits in standing balance control in conditions that included reduced or conflicting sensory signals. The visual and vestibular systems tended to be more involved in contributing to the balance deficits than the somatosensory system. Moreover, children with DCD tended to use hip strategy excessively when forced to rely primarily on vestibular signals to maintain postural stability.

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