Visual function of prematurely born children with and without perceptual-motor difficulties

Early Hum Dev. 1996 Jul 5;45(1-2):73-82. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(95)01722-4.


The relationship between visual and perceptual-motor abilities at 6 years of age was investigated in a cohort of 141 prematurely born children without cerebral palsy. Visual acuity was assessed using the Sonksen-Silver Acuity System and stereopsis with the Titmus stereo test. Perceptual motor abilities were evaluated using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children and the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration. The results showed a higher incidence of abnormalities both of linear acuity and stereopsis in the study group when compared to a group of reference children. Whereas abnormalities of linear acuity were not associated with perceptual-motor difficulties, abnormal stereopsis was significantly associated with poor performance on both perceptual-motor tests. Our results suggest that infants born preterm, even in the absence of other major neurological signs, are at risk for abnormal visual function and perceptual-motor difficulties. As these could interfere with everyday life and school performance, a longitudinal assessment of both areas of competencies is recommended so that diagnosis and possible intervention can take place as early as possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depth Perception
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychomotor Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Psychomotor Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vision, Ocular*
  • Visual Acuity