Deficits in motor co-ordination and attention at 3 years of age predict motor deviations in 6.5-year-old children who needed neonatal intensive care
Article first published online: 30 OCT 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Child: Care, Health and Development
Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 120–129, January 2009
How to Cite
Hemgren, E. and Persson, K. (2009), Deficits in motor co-ordination and attention at 3 years of age predict motor deviations in 6.5-year-old children who needed neonatal intensive care. Child: Care, Health and Development, 35: 120–129. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2008.00896.x
- Issue published online: 29 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 30 OCT 2008
- Accepted for publication 26 July 2008
- attention deficit disorder;
- Developmental Coordination Disorder;
- developmental delay;
- motor co-ordination;
- pre-school children
Background A total of 189 children without major impairments who needed neonatal intensive care (NIC) were followed up at ages 3 and 6.5 years.
Aim To determine the prevalence of different motor deviations at age 6.5 years and the co-occurrence of attention deficits; also, to analyse the predictive ability of motor co-ordination and attention assessments at age 3 years for motor deviations at 6.5 years.
Method A combined assessment of motor performance and behaviour (CAMPB) was used at the 3-year examination. The Test of Motor Impairment (TOMI) and the Motor-Perceptual Development (MPU) were used together with the criteria of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR) to define motor deviations.
Results At 6.5 years 64% of the children showed a motor deviation either as a delay according to MPU, a problem according to TOMI or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) according to DSM-IV-TR. Higher proportions of children with attention deficit (50%) were found in the DCD group. The predictive ability of CAMPB was analysed in two ways: when all children with either a co-ordination or attention deficit, or both, at 3 years were considered to be at risk for motor deviations at 6.5 years, the sensitivity reached 78% and the specificity was 42%. But when only the 3 year olds with a combined deficit were considered to be at risk, the sensitivity was 37% and the specificity 89%; however, a positive predictive value of 86% was reached.
Conclusion At 6.5 years of age a majority of NIC children with no major impairments showed motor deviations. To fulfil the DCD criteria in DSM-IV-TR, a strict definition of motor deviations is recommended. Attention deficits are more prevalent among children with DCD. Deficits in motor co-ordination and/or attention in 3-year-old children are strong predictors of motor deviations and, especially, of DCD at 6.5 years of age.