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.
Prunty, MelissaBarnett, Anna Louise
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health
Year of publication: 2019Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-11-24