African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Effects of a water activity intervention programme on motor competency levels of children with Down\'s syndrome

T Höll, M Coetzee, AE Pienaar


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a specially designed water activity programme on the motor competency levels of children with Down's syndrome. Six institutionalised children classified as having Down\'s syndrome, from a school for the mentally retarded, took part in the study. The children\'s chronological ages ranged between 4 and 15 years, with a mean age of 11 years. Their mental age classification was that of a 4-6 year old. Pre-, post- and retention testing were conducted with the Movement ABC (MABC) (level 1, age band 4-6) and 2 items of the Charlop Atwell test. Four children were part of the experimental group, which took part in the 8-week water activity programme, while 2 children formed the control group. All the children were classified with Development Coordination Disorder (DCD) during the pre-test. The experimental group that took part in the water activity intervention programme, showed great improvement in their motor proficiency levels, especially with regard to balance and coordination. Improvements were also found in the control group, but to a lesser degree.
Key words: Down's syndrome, mentally handicapped, motor skills, motor development, children, water activities.
AJPHERD Vol.11(1) 2005: 68-79

AJOL African Journals Online