Visual–motor integration, visual perception and motor coordination in a population with Williams syndrome and in typically developing children

Research paper by J. Heiz, K. Barisnikov

Indexed on: 23 Aug '16Published on: 22 Aug '16Published in: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research


Williams syndrome (WS) is characterised by severe deficits in visual–spatial abilities in contrast to relatively well-developed language abilities. There is very limited knowledge about visual–motor integration (VMI) in people with WS.Twenty-six participants with WS aged 6 to 41 years were assessed with all three tests of the Beery-VMI test, namely the VMI test, the visual perception test (VP) and the motor coordination test (MC). Their results were compared with those of 154 typically developing children (TD) aged 4 to 12.No influence of age on the three tested abilities was found amongst the participants with WD in comparison with the TD children. The participants with WD scored similarly to the 5-year-old TD children in all three tasks; their scores on the VMI correlated with the results on the VP and MC tests, which were similar to those of the TD children. Finally, the scores on the non-verbal intelligence test (Raven Coloured Progressive Matrices) were highly predictive of the scores in the VMI and VP tests and partially explain the variance in the MC scores.The present study is the first to use all three tasks of the Beery-VMI test. For the TD children, the performances on the three subtests did not show the same developmental trajectory. In contrast, the participants with WD did not show the same developmental trajectory. The participants with WD exhibited poor performances on all tasks with scores comparable with the 5-year-old TD children. As high correlations between these abilities were observed, improving VP and MC could help the development of VMI, which in turn could improve visual–spatial abilities in individuals with WS.