MOTOR SKILLS IN MENTAL DEFICIENCY1
Leslie F. Malpass
There are very few forms of human behavior which do not involve some type of movement. Indeed, motility is one biological criterion for life itself. The study of motility and motor characteristics has important social, educational, and vocational implications beyond those relating to theoretical or scientific interest. Coordination, speed, accuracy, gracefulness of movement in walking, dancing, and handling utensils, for example, can be expected to have some effect on responses of others to the individual. Every kind of occupational enterprise involves not only ability to distinguish what is required but also the capability to make appropriate motor responses at the proper time. In a very real sense, if a person is unable to perform required motor skills he cannot participate in educational enterprises or be self- dependent.
Lorenz ( 1950) has suggested that behavior patterns (i.e., complex series of movements) are as useful as anatomical-physiological characteristics for distinguishing between and among species. Another writer ( Tuke, as quoted by Wallin, 1949, pp. 124-125) has suggested classifying mental defectives2 according to motor abilities. The broad classifications of mental defectives according to this system would be (1) those capable of reflex movements____________________