Perceptual-motor functioning in children with phenylketonuria

Am J Dis Child. 1977 Oct;131(10):1084-7. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120230030004.


Children with treated phenylketonuria (PKU) have been described as being at high risk for perceptual-motor dysfunction. In this study, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Bender Gestalt test were administered to 19 school age children with treated PKU and of average intelligence who have been off diet from five months to six years four months. Perceptual-motor performance was evaluated, and school functioning was rated by classroom teachers. Substantial impairment of perceptual-motor functioning as measured by the Bender Gestalt test and lower WISC performance IQs than verbal IQs were observed in children of average intelligence. Quality of dietary control was found to be associated with performance on the Bender Gestalt test. These findings suggest the possibility of a specific deficit that could seriously interfere with academic progress, but which is not signalled by obvious impairment of overall intellectual functioning.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Bender-Gestalt Test
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Perceptual Disorders / etiology*
  • Phenylketonurias / complications
  • Phenylketonurias / diet therapy
  • Phenylketonurias / psychology*
  • Wechsler Scales