Motor proficiency associated with vestibular deficits in children with hearing impairments

T. K. Crowe, F. B. Horak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relatioship of vestibular function to motor proficiency, including balance, in children with hearing impairments. Thirteen children with normal hearing and 29 children with hearing impairments, ranging in age from 7 to 13 years, were classified into categories based on vestibular function using neuro-otologic measures (ie, vestibulo-ocular reflex function and posturography). Children in each category were tested for motor proficiency using clinical assessment measures (eg, balance, muscle tone, and coordination). The test results indicated that the children with hearing impairments and normal peripheral vestibular function (n = 7) exhibited normal motor proficiency, including balance. The children with hearing impairments and loss of peripheral vestibular sensitivity (n =19) also demonstrated normal motor proficiency, except for balance ability. The children with hearing impairments and sensory organization deficits (n = 3), however, exhibited motor deficits in many areas. The results of this study indicate that motor proficiency in children with hearing impairments depends on vestibular function. Interventions for motor deficits in children with hearing impairments, therefore, must consider vestibular function as well as motor performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1493-1499
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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