THE MOTOR PERFORMANCE OF THE MENTALLY RETARDED
AbstractThe Olympic Games being held in Montreal this summer will focus the attention of the world on the epitome of skilled movement; in contrast, this paper will examine the less than optimal gross motor performance of persons who are mentally retarded. Adequate motor performance is an important part of the day-to-day life of the mentally retarded; in fact, the long-term health outlook, the opportunities for social interaction, and the prospects for self-supporting vocational opportunities, may all depend on the motor proficiency of the mentally retarded person. The first section of this paper summarizes some of the conclusions that can be made on the motor proficiency of moderately mentally retarded persons. In the next section, selected factors that influence the motor development of these retarded persons are discussed, followed by an examination of recent program development trends designed to meet the unique motor leaming needs of the retarded. Finally, the paper examines the need for some new research directions that might facilitate the development of more effective physical education programs for children who are mentally retarded.
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