Visual motor and visual perceptual deficits in children with demyelinating disorders
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Recent literature regarding children with demyelinating disorders suggests that children with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) show visual motor and visual perceptual problems, but the evidence regarding the prevalence and nature of these deficits is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the nature and extent of specific visual motor and visual perceptual deficits among children with MS, ADEM and CIS. It also was designed to identify differences in the visual motor and visual perceptual functioning among the different diagnoses. A secondary analysis of data with a cross sectional study design was used. The scores of the Beery Buktenica Test of Visual Motor Integration and the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills were obtained from the records of the children meeting the inclusion criteria. A secondary analysis of the children's scores was conducted to test the hypotheses that there is a significant association between the diagnosis and the presence of visual motor and visual perceptual deficits. The Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences version 15.0 was used for the statistical analyses. The results of the study suggested that there were visual motor and visual perceptual deficits in children with demyelinating disorders, and that there are significant differences in the presentation of these deficits. Children with MS presented more frequently with visual motor deficits, and children with CIS tended to show more severe visual motor deficits. In addition, children with MS were more likely to have a visual perceptual deficit but children with CIS tended to show a more severe visual perceptual deficit more often. Children with ADEM specifically showed a more frequent and more severe visuospatial deficit as compared to the children with MS and CIS. Understanding the visual motor and visual perceptual deficits in these children may help the rehabilitation professional to better address their needs in the academic setting.