Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between motor skills and language skills in mentally retarded children. The secondary purpose of this study was to expand the evidence based on previous studies by examining the possible relationships between motor, cognitive and linguistic developmental domains that were performed in mentally retarded children with different IQs.
Methods: The present study was descriptive and correlational. 39 children with mental retardation, including 21 girls and 18 boys, participated in the study. After obtaining the parents’ written consent, the Children's Communication Checklist-Persian (CCC-Persian) and the Intelligibility in Context Scale (ICS) were completed. Then, an occupational therapist carefully evaluated the gross and fine motor skills of all of these children by the Lincoln-Oseretsky Test. The psychologist then evaluated the rational age and nonverbal IQ of these children by the Goodenough test.
Results: There was a positive and significant correlation between the language and the fine motor skills, as well as, the score of the CCC-Persian and fine motor (P <0.05). In addition, there was a positive and significant relationship between the score of the Goodenough test with the speech, syntax, social interactions, the CCC-Persian, and the ICS scores (P <0.05).
Conclusion: It is expected that improving motor skills increases language and speech skills in mentally retarded children and vice versa. Therefore, paying attention to movement therapy and art therapy has an effective role in strengthening speech and language skills in these children.