Disabled readers exhibit motor timing control (MTC) deficits in bimanual coordination relative to average readers. This article evaluates to what extent poor MTC is specific to reading or if it is related to learning problems in general. Children (7 to 11 years of age) referred for learning impairment (LI; n = 100) and same-age children nonlearning impaired (NLI; n = 243) performed a paced finger-tapping task. Greater variability of interresponse intervals was associated with poorer reading, spelling, and arithmetic achievement. The LI group performed more poorly than the NLI group, a difference that persisted even after adjusting for reading skill. Poor MTC is associated with poor reading but may also be a characteristic of children referred for learning problems, possibly signaling increased vulnerability of underlying neural integrative processes relevant to the child's adaptation to academic demands, including reading.
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