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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

versión On-line ISSN 2310-3833
versión impresa ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.40 no.2 Pretoria ago. 2010




The association of an omitted crawling milestone with pencil grasp and control in five- and six-year-old children



Magrieta Maria VisserI; Denise FranzsenII

IMSc Occupational Therapy (Wits); Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences University of the Free State
IIMSc Occupational Therapy (Wits); Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand





Children seen in occupational therapy for pencil grasp and control problems are often identified, based on parents' information, as having omitted crawling milestones. This study investigated the possible association between an omitted crawling milestone and pencil grasp and control. A case-control study compared 30 children aged 5-6 years old with omitted crawling as infants, with a matched group who did crawl. The Developmental Test of Visual Perception (DTVP-2) and a pencil grasp observation were used to assess pencil grasp and control. Statistically significant differences were found between the crawlers and the non-crawlers with regard to pencil grasp and visual perception, but not for pencil control. Limitations of the study included a small sample, a broad definition of omitted crawling and a non-standardised assessment of pencil grasp. Further research on factors causing omitted crawling, its impact on other areas of development, and the development of a pencil control assessment tool, is recommended.

Key words: crawling milestone; pencil grasp; pencil control; visual perception; age 5-6 years



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Magrieta Maria Visser
Denise Franzsen