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Medicina dello Sport 2017 December;70(4):521-36

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.02962-3


language: English, Italian

Physical motor competences of severely mentally challenged children in King William’s Town, South Africa

Seyide SALAWU 1, Philemon LYOKA 1, Daniel T. GOON 2

1 Department of Human Movement, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa; 2 Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa


BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to assess the levels of physical motor competences among severely mentally challenged children (SMCC); and identify the physical motor difficulties they experienced.
METHODS: Participants were 25 SMCC (18 boys and 7 girls) aged 6-10 years, attending at King William Special School, East London, South Africa. The TGMD-2 Test battery was utilized to assess motor competency. Five locomotor subtests (run, hop, leap, horizontal jump and slide); and six object control subtests (striking stationary ball, stationary dribble, catch, kick, overhand throw and underhand roll) were measured.
RESULTS: The gross motor quotient were very poor and poor, respectively (ranging from GMQ<70 and 70-79). About 96% of the children had their gross motor competence below average. Generally, GMQ were below 70 in gross motor abilities. The object control competences of SMCC indicates that the highest score was in striking (10), stationary dribbling (8), kicking (8), overhand throw (8) underhand rolls (8) and catching (6). Overall, SMCC were competent in upper body coordination, especially in catching. The gross motor difficulties in the locomotor subtests among the SMCC were: running (superior category=38%; average performance=29%; very poor and poor=33%); hopping (very superior (38%) and superior (10%) performances. Performance was low (45%) among the rated very superior (18), superior (27) in horizontal jumping activity. The results from sliding ability was encouraging as SMCC had 57% performance score, obtained from very superior (22%), superior (35%) scores. The best cumulative locomotor performance was 62% in hop activity, followed by 57% in slide activity. Apart from the 54% in horizontal jump, SMCC scored below 50% in running. The performance score in striking was 40% (very superior -12 and superior -28). Critical challenges were observed in stationary dribbling, as only few had superior performance (12%), average (12%), and poor/very poor (76%). About 64% performed average and poor/very poor (36%) in catching activity; kicking (58% very superior). Majority of the SMCC were competent (59%), performed very superiorly (27) and superior (32) in overhead throws. Majority (60%) performed well in underhand rolling. None of the SMCC scored 20%, except, in kicking the ball (23%), while stationary dribble recorded the lowest (4%).
CONCLUSIONS: The highest motor competence of SMCC was above average in object control ability, kicking while locomotor ability, leaping was poor. The SMCC were competent in object control abilities. Hence, these results have implications for teaching and supporting children with mental disabilities.

KEY WORDS: Motor skills - Child development disorders, pervasive - Disabled Children

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