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Motor performance and haptic perception in preschool boys with specific impairment of expressive language

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Abstract Aim: 

The aim of this study was to investigate motor performance and haptic object recognition (HOR) in 5-year-old boys with minor to moderate specific impairment of expressive language (expressive-SLI). Methods: 

Twenty-eight boys with expressive-SLI and 26 boys with typical language development as controls were recruited from ordinary kindergartens. An assessment of the voluntary isometric force production and relaxation capacity of the leg extensor muscles, manual dexterity, ball skills, balance and HOR was performed and the results were compared with those for age-matched control group. Results: 

Reaction times to voluntary contraction and relaxation of the leg extensor muscles as well as manual dexterity did not differ significantly in the measured groups. Boys with expressive-SLI demonstrated poorer results in ball skills (p < 0.01), balance (p < 0.01), less leg extensors strength (p < 0.05) and made considerably more (p < 0.001) errors in haptic perception test when compared to controls. Conclusions: 

Deviations in gross-motor performance and haptic perception are very common in children with minor to moderate expressive-SLI, being embodied especially in less muscle strength of lower extremities, poorer ball skills, balance and HOR.

Keywords: Children; Motor function; Muscle strength; Perception; Specific language disorder

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02201.x

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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