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Abstract

This study investigated swimming performance and the influence of task complexity among children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Two groups of children were matched by age - 11 controls without DCD and 11 children with DCD. Repeated measures ANOVA showed that children with DCD performed significantly lower level than age-matched controls for all the water competency tasks and front crawl. Both groups improved significantly in water competency and front crawl over 10 lessons. Significant interactions suggested that children with DCD showed different rates of change during the acquisition of the glide and front crawl. Both groups regressed with increased task complexity. Awareness of motor learning difficulties experienced by children enables teachers, parents, and children to have realistic expectations. A supportive environments for children with DCD will enable them to achieve the important swimming skill competencies and reduce drop-out rates in learn-to-swim programs.

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