Journal Article

Handwriting difficulties in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)


Purpose of review. Handwriting is a particular difficulty in DCD. Children who struggle to produce legible and sufficiently fast handwriting may under-achieve at school. Using van Galen’s model, this review examines recent research to describe the nature of handwriting difficulties in DCD. The range of assessment tools is highlighted and recommendations for intervention provided. Recent findings. Embedded in the broader skill of writing, handwriting involves more than motor skill. Children with DCD tend to produce less writing than their peers. Their slow rate of production is characterised by frequent pauses. Errors in letter formation negatively impact on legibility and the quality of written composition is also poor. Different types of assessment help to capture the range of difficulties. Summary. Comprehensive assessment helps gain a full understanding of the nature of handwriting difficulties in DCD. International recommendations and guidelines provide a valuable framework for assessment and principles for intervention.

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Barnett, Anna L.
Prunty, Mellissa

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-08-21

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