Fine motor skills, social acceptance lower in children with 'lazy eye'

A recent study evaluating the fine motor skills and perceived self esteem of children with amblyopia (or "lazy eye") compared with age-matched children was presented during the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2007 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The study, led by Ann Louise Webber of the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, utilized Visual-Motor Control and Upper Limb Speed and Dexterity subtests of the Brunicks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency to measure fine motor skills, and perceived self esteem was assessed using the Harter Self Perception Profile for Children. Results shows that fine motor skills were significantly worse and perception of social acceptance was lower in amblyopic children. Performance on the fine motor skill tasks could not predicted by level of stereoposis or inter-ocular visual acuity difference in the amblyopic group.

"Many children with amblyopia have poor depth perception in addition to poor vision in one eye. We were interested in how these may impact on skills important to children, particularly in their early education," said Webber. "Our finding that children with amblyopia do have poorer fine motor skills and lower perception of social acceptance means that, in addition to treating a child's eye condition, eye care practitioners may be able advise parents of potential functional consequences."

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