Visual-Motor Performance of Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Comparison of the Beery VMI-VI and the KOPPITZ-2 Developmental Scoring System for the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test-II
McDonald, Christin Anna
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This study was conducted to extend the research on visual-motor measures and characteristics of high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs). This involved examining the measurement comparability of the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test-2nd Edition (BG-II; using the KOPPITZ-2 scoring system; Reynolds, 2007) and Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration-6th Edition (VMI-VI; Beery & Beery, 2010) in both HFASD and typically-developing samples of children, and examining the suspected visual-motor issues of children with HFASDs by comparing their performance to that of typically-developing peers using these instruments. A total of 142 children participated in this study, including a sample of 90 children with HFASDs and a sample of 52 typically-developing children for within-group comparisons. In addition, a sub-sample of 33 matched pairs was analyzed to examine potential visual-motor differences between groups, while controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, parent education, and verbal ability. Within-groups analyses resulted in three clear trends. First, regardless of sample status, individuals scored significantly lower on the VMI-VI composite than the KOPPITZ-2 composite. Second, individuals in both samples scored significantly lower on the VMI-VI Motor Coordination supplemental test than on the VMI-VI Visual Perception supplemental test. Finally, a significant moderate correlation between the KOPPITZ-2 and VMI-VI composite was found in both samples. These results were similar to those previously found by Volker et al. (2010) between the BG-II Copy section (using the Global Scoring system) and VMI-V composite. Furthermore, comparisons across groups using matched pairs yielded different patterns for visual and motor performance. In general, nonsignificant mean differences were found between the matched sub-samples on tests with reduced motor demands (i.e., VMI-VI Visual Perception and BG-II Perception). In contrast, comparisons between the sub-samples on the majority of tests involving a greater motor influence (e.g., VMI-VI Motor Coordination, KOPPITZ-2, and BG-II Motor) resulted in significant differences and yielded moderate to large effect size estimates (i.e., d = −.80, d = −1.28, w = .37, respectively). For all significant comparisons, the HFASD sub-sample performed significantly lower than the typically-developing sub-sample. Finally, exploratory results, study strengths and study limitations are discussed, as well as recommendations for future research.