Topic: Effects of gaze training on gait of children with Developmental Coordination disorder

Summary: Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a condition characterised by movement problems including clumsiness when walking. This clumsiness results in an increased likelihood of tripping and falling when there are objects in the walking path that have to be stepped on or over. Anxiety or fear of falling, which is very common in people with DCD, may affect where walkers look, resulting in loss of visual information needed to make accurate stepping movements to avoid hazards such as kerbs and stair edges. This project will use special equipment to accurately record the walking characteristics and eye movements of children with DCD while they climb stairs and step onto and over obstacles to see if altered looking behaviour can help explain clumsiness when walking. We will also measure anxiety and fear of falling using questionnaires and by recording the electrical activity of the skin related to sweating. We have previously shown that looking behaviour can be trained in DCD children throwing and catching a ball, which greatly improves their ball handling skills. In this study, we will test whether gaze training results in more accurate and consistent foot movement and placement during tasks requiring precise stepping e.g. stair walking, stepping over obstacles and onto targets.

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