Journal Article

Accuracy and consistency of letter formation in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: an exploratory study


Background: Handwriting difficulties are frequently mentioned in descriptions of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Recent studies have shown that children with DCD pause more and produce less text than typically developing (TD) peers. This temporal dysfluency indicates a lack of automaticity in handwriting production. One possible contributing factor is the accuracy and consistency of letter formation. The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of handwriting dysfluency by examining the accuracy and consistency of letter production both within and across different writing tasks. Method: Twenty-eight 8-15 year-old children with DCD participated in the study, with 28 typically developing (TD) age and gender matched controls. They completed the alphabet writing and copy fast tasks from the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting on a digitising writing tablet. The accuracy and consistency of letter production were examined. Results & Discussion: The DCD group had a higher percentage of errors within their letterforms than TD peers. Letter production was also less consistent between tasks. Children with DCD appear to have difficulties with the ‘allograph’ (motor program) aspect of handwriting and may require explicit teaching of letter formation.

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Prunty, Melissa
Barnett, Anna Louise

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-11-24

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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