A longitudinal study on gross motor development in children with learning disorders

Marieke Westendorp*, Esther Hartman, Suzanne Houwen, Barbara C. H. Huijgen, Joanne Smith, Chris Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This longitudinal study examined the development of gross motor skills, and sex-differences therein, in 7; to 11-years-old children with learning disorders (LD) and compared the results with typically developing children to determine the performance level of children with LD.

In children with LD (n = 56; 39 boys, 17 girls), gross motor skills were assessed with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and measured annually during a 3-year period. Motor scores of 253 typically developing children (125 boys, 112 girls) were collected for references values.

The multilevel analyses showed that the ball skills of children with LD improved with age (p <.001), especially between 7 and 9 years, but the locomotor skills did not (p = .50). Boys had higher ball skill scores than girls (p = .002) and these differences were constant over time. Typically developing children outperformed the children with LD on the locomotor skills and ball skills at-all ages, except the locomotor skills at age 7. Children with LD develop their ball skills later in the primary school-period compared to typically developing peers. However, 11 year-old children with LD had a lag in locomotor skills and ball skills of at least four and three years, respectively, compared to their peers. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2014


  • Primary-school-age children
  • Locomotor skills
  • Ball skills
  • Learning disorders
  • FINE

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