Comparison of motor praxis and performance in children with varying levels of developmental coordination disorder

The praxis test is a less well-documented method to determine functional manifestations of childhood dyspraxia.

For this study, children aged six to eight years were recruited as follows: 17 children with DCD, 18 at risk of DCD and 35 without obvious problems in motor coordination. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC-2) was used to measure motor performance and identify the motor incoordination.

This study developed a battery of tests to assess limb praxis using a praxis imagery questionnaire, gesture representation, and questions about knowledge of object use. In the comparison of subtests within the praxis test, significant differences were observed across groups on the praxis imagery questionnaire and gesture representation tests but not on knowledge of object use. Similar results were observed in the correlation analyses, in which a weak relationship between MABC-2 and praxis tests was observed. The DCD group had lower scores on the praxis imagery questionnaire, whereas the group at risk of DCD had lower scores on most gesture production tests.

This study provides a better understanding of the nature of the childhood dyspraxia and sheds light on its effect on motor coordination to identify praxis tests with specific clinical meanings in children with movement disorders.