Disorders of motor development (clumsy child syndrome)

H. Sigmundsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This presentation will focus on motor competence, the clumsy child, perceptual deficits in clumsy children and possible neurological dysfunction in this group of children. Motor competence not only allows children to carry out everyday practical tasks, but it is also an important determinant of their level of self-esteem and of their popularity and status in their peer group. Research has shown that about 6-10% of children have motor competences well below the norm. It is unusual for motor problems to simply disappear over time. In the absence of intervention the syndrome is likely to manifest itself. In the clinical literature attempts have been made to establish causal links between surface manifestations of clumsiness and underlying perceptual deficits. In this respect the attention is primarily directed towards the concept of inter- and intra-modal matching, particularly with respect to vision and proprioception, an ability deemed to underlie many real-life motor skills. Neurobehavioural model of inter- and intra-modal matching and deficit model is presented. Findings from studies using this paradigm are discussed and it is argued that clumsiness must be seen as a neurological dysfunction (insufficiency).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-68
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission, Supplement
Issue number69
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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