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Association of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder symptoms with visual functioning difficulties in Grade 1 learners

M de Milander, R Schall, V Van de Vyver, EJ Hattingh

Abstract


Background. Children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can experience visual motor control difficulties. Therefore, early identification of such difficulties is important. 

Objective. To determine whether ADHD symptoms are associated with visual motor control difficulties in Grade 1 learners. 

Method. In total, 382 children participated in the study. To determine the presence of ADHD symptoms, the educators completed the Strength and Weaknesses of ADHD symptoms Normal behaviour scale (SWAN) for each learner after six months of observing their class behaviour. Two kinderkineticists applied two tests, namely the Pyfer Sensory Input Systems Screening test and one subtest of the Quick Neurological Screening Test-II (QNST-II). Fisher’s exact test was used to determine if ADHD symptoms were associated with visual functioning difficulties. 

Results. ADHD symptoms were found to be significantly associated with 10 out of 21 visual functioning difficulties. These skills included fixation with both eyes (p=0.0491), fixation with the right eye (p=0.0003), fixation with the left eye (p=0.0042), ocular alignment of the right eye (p=0.0029), visual tracking with both eyes on X shape (p=0.0284), visual tracking with the right eye (p=0.0301), and visual tacking with the left eye on a circle (p=0.0032). Furthermore, ADHD symptoms were significantly associated with the QNST-II tracking test normal range (p=0.0028), moderate discrepancy (p=0.0028) and severe discrepancy (p=0.0075). 

Conclusion. ADHD symptoms are significantly associated with approximately half of the tested visual functioning of Grade 1 learners. Appropriate interventions should be implemented by professionals to assist these learners.


Authors' affiliations

M de Milander, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

R Schall, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

V Van de Vyver, Department of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

EJ Hattingh, Department of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2021;15(1):3. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2021.v15i1.01705

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-04-30
Date published: 2021-04-30

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