ISSN: 2544-4395
Physiotherapy Quarterly
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vol. 31
Original paper

Sensory-based motor processing in children with specific learning disabilities

Zeinab Ahmed Hussein
Shimaa Abdel-Rahim Abdel-Aty
Gehan Hassan Elmeniawey

Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt
Faculty of Physical Therapy, October University for Modern Sciences and Arts, Cairo, Egypt
Physiother Quart. 2023;31(1):95–99
Online publish date: 2023/03/21
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Children with learning disabilities not only experience difficulties in academic performance but also exhibit neurological risks of motor and sensory processing. Evaluation of such a group might help identify their deficits even before early adolescence. The study aimed to assess sensory and motor problems in children with different types of specific learning disabilities.

A cross-sectional study was performed in students of 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in governmental schools, Cairo, Egypt. Overall, 200 children with poor scholastic achievement were screened with an intelligence quotient test (Raven’s Progressive Matrices). The learning disabilities were evaluated with the Fathi al-Zayyat battery. Then, the Quick Neurological Screening Test was used to indicate motor and sensory problems.

A total of 50 out of 772 screened children were confirmed to have learning disabilities (dyscalculia: 29, dyslexia: 11, mixed: 10), which represented 6.47% of the sample. Neurological signs were positive in all children with specific learning disabilities, while 82% of them were below average.

The study revealed that 82% of children with specific learning disabilities at 4th, 5th, and 6th grades were below age with a moderate discrepancy in the development of sensory and motor processes. The finger-to-nose test, double simultaneous stimulation of hand and cheek test, stand-on-leg test, and tandem walk test are associated with the type of specific learning disabilities (dyscalculia, dyslexia, or mixed).


specific learning disability, sensory processing, neurological soft signs, schoolchildren

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