Poor visuo-spatial orientation and path memorization in children with dyslexia

Nord J Psychiatry. 2022 Apr;76(3):195-201. doi: 10.1080/08039488.2021.1943705. Epub 2021 Jul 18.


Purpose: Given the importance of spatial representation and navigation in the natural environment and the presence of sensory motor integration impairment in dyslexic children the aim of this study was to explore the capability in spatial orientation task in dyslexic children.

Materials and methods: We included forty children: 26 dyslexic children (mean age: 10.1 ± 0.3 years old) and 14 typically developing (TD) children (mean age: 10.1 ± 0.4 years old). Children have to walk on an unguided isosceles rectangle triangle of 3 meters that was marked on the ground of a room, during two visual conditions: eyes open and eyes closed. Their paths were recorded using the HTC Vive system (Base + Trackers) with a refresh rate of 90 Hz with accuracy < 0.05 mm.

Results: Results underlined that both groups of children reported poor performance during eyes closed condition. Moreover, dyslexic children, reported poor spatial orientation capabilities in the most difficult conditions, that is during reproduction of hypotenuse and angle of 45 deg.

Conclusions: We suggested that visual information is important during walking; the poor body orientation observed in dyslexic children could be due to a deficient integration of the sensorial inputs (visual, vestibular and proprioceptive). Further studies testing vestibular/cerebellar rehabilitation could be useful for these kinds of children.HighlightsChildren with dyslexia showed poor spatial orientation capabilities compared to typically developing children, particularly when visual inputs are not available and in the most difficult conditions (like rotation of the body).Poor motor abilities reported by children with dyslexia could be due to cerebrocerebellar pathways impairments.

Keywords: Dyslexia; children; sensory motor integration; spatial orientation.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebellum
  • Child
  • Dyslexia*
  • Humans
  • Orientation, Spatial*