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July2005 Vol.42 Issue:      2 Table of Contents
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Follow-up Study of Learning Abilities of Elementary School Children with Good and Poor Perceptual Motor Skills Performance: Part II

Abdul-Kader F1, Ola A Shawky1, El-Behary2
Departments of Neuropsychiatry1, Psychology, Faculty of Education2, Assiut University

ABSTRACT

Learning disability is one of many developmental disorders that concerns families, educators, psychologists, neurologists and others. This study was designed to follow-up second grade elementary school children through fourth grade and correlate their learning abilities at the end of each year with their perceptual motor skills performance (which was done in part I at the beginning of the study). Children were evaluated neurologically to exclude children with motor or sensory impairment. Wechsler Intelligence scale for children (WISC) was done for all children. Learning abilities were assessed every year for three successive years (1999-2002) by school records, teacher rating and Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) raw scores for reading, spelling and arithmetic. At the end of each academic year children were looked for class repetition. Children with low and high scores in hand stability (time and errors) and simple reaction time did not significantly differ in any of the learning parameters in the successive academic years. Children with higher performance in coin sorting, hand dexterity, finger tapping and eye tracking were significantly higher than children with lower performance in all learning parameters in the three successive academic years. Children with class repetition were significantly impaired in coin sorting, hand dexterity and eye tracking in the three successive years.

(Egypt J. Neurol. Psychiat. Neurosurg., 2005, 42(2): 407-415).

 





INTRODUCTION

 

Learning disability (LD) is the most common childhood disorder requiring special education services1. Perceptual-motor relates to the manner by which the individual takes in sensory information, processes and interprets the information, and then responds automatically to it.2,3,4 When the children lack in their perception skills, variety of problems can develop ranging from learning disability (difficulty in reading, writing, spelling or math) to trouble with motor skills5. Such children do not benefit from the conventional educational programs in their school and will ultimately fail to achieve basic elementary education6.

This study was designed to follow-up elementary school children for three successive years and correlate their learning abilities with their perceptual motor skills performance.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS

 

Subjects:

At the beginning of the study, the studied population were 195 children (110 boys and 85 girls) in the second grade of national elementary school in Assiut city (Upper-Egypt). We follow up those children for 3 successive academic years (second grade, third grade and fourth grade) in the period from 1999-2002.

 

Methods:

                Children were evaluated neurologically to exclude children with motor or sensory impaired Wechsler intelligence scale For Children (WISC) was done for all children. Academic performance was evaluated every year through: (A) teacher rating score, (B) Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) raw scores for reading, spelling and arithmetic and (C) School recorders at the ends of every academic year in language “reading– writing” and arithmetic. At the end of each academic year, children were looked for class repetition

 

Statistical analysis:

All data were fed into Microsoft Excel program – window 98. the following statistical analyses were performed;

1.      Descriptive analysis of all examined variables.

2.      Subjects were sorted descendingly by each perceptual motor skills. Subjects with highest and lowest scores  in each skill (1st and 4th quartiles respectively) were compared for learning parameters using two – tailed student-test. Significance level was set at 0.05.

3.      At the end of each academic year, incidence of class repetition in the 1st a 4th quartiles of each perceptual skill was looked for and assessed by chi square. Significance level was set at 0.05.

 

RESULTS

 

Data concerning number and sex of the studied children in the three successive academic years are shown in table (1).

Data concerning number and sex of students who had class repetition at the end of each academic year are shown in table (2).

Total IQ, performance IQ and Verbal IQ scores were higher in the 1st quartile than in children in the 4th quartile but the difference was not significant (Table 3).

Children in the first quartile (higher performance) of CS, HD, FT and ET were significantly higher than children in the fourth quartile (lower performance) in all learning parameters in the three years (Figs. 1-4).

Children with low and high score in HS (Time and errors) and RT did nor significantly differ in any of the learning parameters in the three academic years.

Children with class repetition were significantly impaired in CS, HD and ET tests compared to children who passed the academic years successfully (Fig. 5).


Table 1. Distribution of children in three successive years.

 

Number of children

1999-2000

second grade

2000-2001

third grade

2001-2002

fourth grade

Total

195

188

182

   Males

110

106

102

   Females

85

82

80

 

Table 2. Distribution of children who had class repetition in three successive years.

 

Number of children who had class repetition

1999-2000

second grade

2000-2001

third grade

2001-2002

fourth grade

Total

7

6

13

   Males

4

4

8

   Females

3

2

5

 

Table 3. Intelligence quotient of children in the 1st quartile and 4th quartile.

 

 

First quartile

Fourth quartile

Significance

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

Total IQ

95

9.2

92

8.1

NS

   Performance IQ

97

11.5

95

11.0

NS

   Verbal IQ

99

10.9

96

10.7

NS

Fig. (1A): Academic year 1999-2000.

Fig. (1B): Academic year 2000-2001.

Fig. (1C): Academic year 2001-2002

SRR, School record-reading, SRA;  school record for arithmetic, TR; teacher rating, WRAT-S; WRAT-spelling. WRAT-A; WRAT arithmetic, WRAT-R; WRAT reading scores.

 

Fig. (1 A, B & C): Difference in learning parameters between children with high and low coin  sorting scores, 1st and 4th quartile respectively in the three academic years. It illustrated that children in the 1st quartile were significantly higher in all learning parameters.

 

Fig. (2A): Academic year 1999-2000.

 

Fig. (2B): Academic year 2000-2001.

 

Fig. (2C): Academic year 2001-2002.

SRR , School record-reading, SRA;  school record for arithmetic, TR; teacher rating, WRAT-S; WRAT-spelling. WRAT-A; WRAT arithmetic, WRAT-R; WRAT reading scores.

 

 

Fig. (2 A, B & C): Difference in learning parameters between children with high and low hand dexterity scores, 1st and 4th quartile respectively in the three academic years.

Fig. (3A): Academic year 1999-2000.

 

Fig. (3B): Academic year 2000-2001.

 

 

Fig. (3C): Academic year 2001-2002.

SRR, School record-reading, SRA;  school record for arithmetic, TR; teacher rating, WRAT-S; WRAT-spelling. WRAT-A; WRAT arithmetic, WRAT-R; WRAT reading scores.

 

Fig. (3 A, B & C): Difference in learning parameters between children with high and low finger tapping scores, 1st and 4th quartile respectively in the three academic years.

Fig. (4A): Academic year 1999-2000.

Fig. (4B): Academic year 2000-2001

Fig. (4C): Academic year 2001-2002.

 

SRR, School record-reading, SRA;  school record for arithmetic, TR; teacher rating, WRAT-S; WRAT-spelling. WRAT-A; WRAT arithmetic, WRAT-R; WRAT reading scores.

 

Fig. (4 A, B & C): Difference in learning parameters between children with high and low eye tracking scores, 1st and 4th quartile respectively in the three academic years

 

Fig. (5A): Academic year 1999-2000.

 

 

Fig. (5B): Academic year 2000-2001.

 

 

Fig. (5C): Academic year 2001-2002.

 

CS; coin sorting, HD; hand dexterity, FT; finger tapping, ET; eye tracking, SRT; simple reaction time; HSE; hand  stability-errors, HST; hand stability time, CR; class repetition.

 

Fig. (5 A, B & C): Perceptual motor skills in children with and without class repetition. It illustrated that children with class repetition were significantly impaired in ES, HD and ET tests.


DISCUSSION

 

Longitudinal study of school performance for three years of children with good and poor perceptual motor skills showed that children who had poor perceptual motor skills performance had significant impairment in many of learning parameters as indicated by their significant lower scores in school records, teacher rating and WRAT reading, spelling and arithmetic. At the end of each year, children with class repetition were significantly impaired in CS, HD and ET.

Consistent with our results are the findings Sortor et al.4, who reported a significant difference in performance on the visual-motor integration and visual perception and motor coordination subtests between children in upper and lower quartiles in reading and math achievement in the second through fourth grades. Also, Kulp et al.5, reported that performance of children through their grade on visual analysis and visual motor integration tasks is significantly related to academic performance and teacher’s rating of children’s reading and math.

Glascoe FP6, reported that teacher’s rating varied significantly with children’s performance. Goldstein et al.7, found a significant relationship between visual-motor coordination with scores on a test of reading, mathematics, and written language for elementary school children referred for learning difficulties.

Smith et al.8, found a significant low scores in reading, spelling, and arithmetic subtests of the wide range Achivement in students with learning disability.

Mati-Zissi et al.9, reported that deficiency in perceptual motor skills have a predictive value for learning disability in children.

Eden et al.10, found that children with reading disability perform worse in tasks that require fast, sequential processing and that this impairment may be responsible for their reading difficulties.

These findings indicate that at least some of these perceptual motor skills influence the neural processes by which academic performance is achieved, thus disorder of perceptual motor skills and learning disabilities could represent parallel maturational lags11-15.

Most studies of prediction of learning disabilities are conducted with the hop that early identification of a disorder can alleviate serious problems and emotional overlay by early detection of children with learning disabilities and giving them special care in a special type of schools prepared for these children, or in their schools by giving them more time of learning16.

 

REFERENCES

 

1.      Gresham FM, MacMillan DL, Bocian KM: Learning disabilities, low achievement, and mild mental retardation: more alike than different?. J Learn Disabil. Nov; 29 (6)570-81, 1996.

2.      Cobb PR, Chissom BS, Davis MW: Relationships among perceptual-motor, self-concept, and academic measures for children in kindergarten, grades one and two. Percept Mot skills, Oct; 41(2): 539-46, 1975.

3.      Sofie CA, Riccio CA: A comparison of multiple methods for the identification of children with reading disabilities. J Learn Disabil. May-Jun; 35(3): 234-44, 2002.

4.      Sortor JM, Kulp MT: Are the results of the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration and its subtest related to achievement test scores?. Optom Vis Sci. Nov; 80(11): 758-63, 2003.

5.      Kulp MT, Edwards KE, Mitchell GL: Is visual memory predictive of below-average academic achievement in second through fourth graders?. Optom Vis Sci. Jul; 79(7): 431-4, 2002.

6.      Glascoe FP: Can teachers’ global ratings identify children with academic problems?. J Dev Behav Pediatr. Jun; 22(3): 163-8, 2001.

7.      Goldstein DJ, Britt TW Jr: Visual-motor coordination and intelligence as predictors of reading, mathematics, and Written language ability. Percept Mot Skills. Jun; 78(3Pt 1): 819-23. 1994.

8.      Smith TD, Smith BL: Relationship between the Wide Range Achievement test 3 and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test. Psychol Rep. Dec; 83(3 Pt 1): 963-7, 1998.

9.      Mati-Zissi H, Zafiropoulou M: Visuomotor coordination and visuospatial working memory of children with specific reading disabilities: a study using the Rey-Osterrieth Complex figure. Percept Mot Skills. Oct: 97(2): 543-6, 2003.

10.    Eden GF, Stein JF, Wood HM, Wood FB: Temporal and spatial processing in reading disabled and normal children. Cortex. Sep; 31(3): 451-68, 1995.

11.    Nicolson RI, Fawcett AJ, Berry EL, Jenkins IH, Dean P, Brooks DJ: Association of abnormal cerebellar activation with motor learning difficulties in dyslexic adults. The Lancet, 353 (9165): 1662-7, 1999.

12.    Mattay VS, Callicott JH, Bertolino A, Santha AK, Van Horn JD, Tallent KA. Frank JA, Weinberger DR: Hemispheric control of motor functions: a whole brain each planar fMRI study, Psychiatry Research, 83(1): 7-22, 1998.

13.    Timist 5, Logak M, Manai R, Rancurel G: Evolving isolated hand palsy a parietal lobe syndrome associated with carotid artery disease, Brain, 120 (Pr 12): 225-17, 1997.

14.    Cabeza R, Nyberg L. Neural bases of learning Current Opinion in Neurology, 13(4): 415-421, 2000.

15.    Patterson K, Matthew A, Ralph L. Selective disorder of reading, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 9:235-239, 1999.

16.    Schweizer K. and Koch W, Perceptual Processes and cognitive ability, Intelligence 31, pp. 2211-235, 2003.


 

الملخص العربى

 

دراسة لمتابعة قدرات التعلم لتلاميذ المدارس الابتدائية الذين لديهم أداء جيد وأداء سيئ

لمهارات الإدراك الحركى : الجزء الثانى

 

إن صعوبات التعلم هى إحدى اضطرابات النمو التى تخص الأسر والتربويين والمتخصصين فى علم النفس والأمراض العصبية، والهدف من هذه الدراسة هى متابعة القدرات التعليمية لمدة ثلاث سنوات متتابعة لتلاميذ المدارس الابتدائية الذين لديهم أداء جيد وأداء سيئ لمهارات الادراك الحركى. وقد تم تقييم التلاميذ من الناحية العصبية لاستبعاد التلاميذ الذين لديهم اى اضطراب حركى أو حسى وتم عمل مقياس وكسلر للذكاء للأطفال، وقد تم تقييم القدرات التعليمية لهؤلاء التلاميذ بواسطة سجلات المدرسة وتقييم مدرس الفصل واختبارات القدرات الواسع المدى للقراءة والهجاء والحساب وذلك فى نهاية كل عام دراسى لمدة ثلاث أعوام متتابعة من 1999-2002. وفى نهاية كل عام دراسى ثم تحديد عدد التلاميذ الراسبين. وقد أظهرت النتائج أن التلاميذ الذين لديهم أداء جيد فى بعض مهارات الادراك الحركى والتى قد تم عملها فى الجزء الاول من البحث مثل فرز العملة ومهارات اليد ونقر الأصابع والتمييز البصرى كانت مقاييس التعليم عندهم مرتفعه وذات دلاله إحصائية عن التلاميذ الذين لديهم أداء سيئ فى مثل هذه الاختبارات وذلك من خلال متابعتهم فى السنوات الدراسية الثلاثة وقد كان معدل الرسوب وإعادة السنة أكثر فى التلاميذ الذين لديهم أداء سيئ لمهارات الادراك الحركى.



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