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T Langaas, R Aadne, EC Dahle, AM H Hansen, G Horgen, D Johansson T Myhren, A Myklebust, T Rønnestad, T Storengen, MS Wiik; Clinical assessment of eye movements in children with reading disabilities and with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):4661.
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Purpose:Eye movements, both smooth pursuit and saccades have been reported to be deficient in some children with learning disabilities. The aim of this project was to assess simple paper-based eye movement tests and their capability to distinguish between groups of children with developmental disabilities and control groups. Methods:278 children in two age groups, 7 and 11 years, were screened with two paper based eye movement tests: Groffman Visual Tracing test (GVT) and Developmental Eye Movement test (DEM), evaluating pursuit tracking and saccades respectively. 52 children comprised a 'reading deficiency' (RD) group, 19 children failed a motor development test and comprised the 'DCD' group. Control groups were made up of closest age and sex match for each child in the two index groups. Comparisons between groups were performed by t-tests, chisquared and ANOVA. A test-retest strategy was used to evaluate reliability and repeatability of the two eye movement tests. Results:Children in the index groups did poorer on both tests. GVT: Both index groups scored significantly worse than controls, and a higher number of children in the index groups failed the test, for the DCD group the difference was highly significant. (58% of the children in the RD and 78% in the DCD group failed the GVT, in comparison to 35% and 27% in the two control groups respectively). DEM: children in both index groups did significantly poorer on horizontal- and vertical saccades, and had significantly higher error score than control groups. The number of children who failed the DEM was non-significantly higher in the RD group than the control group. Both tests showed an improvement when tests were repeated after 2 to 3 weeks, but the results on the re-test was predictable with a good reliability. Conclusion:GVT and DEM are simple to use, inexpensive tests of the ability to perform smooth tracking and saccades. They were shown to be sensitive in discriminating children with developmental problems, and showed good reliability although repeatability was moderate due to an observed improvement on re-tests.
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