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Fine motor performance and functionality in children with Down syndrome

The aim of study was to compare typically-developing children and children with Down syndrome (DS) for their fine motor performance, measured by the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development - Third Edition (BSITD-III), and for their functional performance in self-care, measured by the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). Associations between these areas were also investigated. Twelve typically-developing children and 12 children with DS were assessed at the age of 2 years. The children with DS performed poorly in fine motor skills when compared with typical children, which may be explained by the complex motor skills involved in the BSITD-III's tasks. Their self-care scores were also lower in comparison with the typical children. However, these scores fell under the average performance for children without disabilities, which may be explained by the low complexity, in terms of fine motor skills, of functional tasks expected for children at that age (eg.: taking shoes/pants off). This finding has probably contributed to the lack of correlation between the areas. Factors such as the assistance provided by the caregivers, and environmental stimulation, may also have contributed to the results.

child development; motor skills; activities of daily living; Down syndrome

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