Do children with autism and Asperger's disorder have difficulty controlling handwriting size? A kinematic evaluation

Johnson, Beth P., Phillips, James G., Papadopoulos, Nicole, Fielding, Joanne, Tonge, Bruce and Rinehart, Nicole J. 2015, Do children with autism and Asperger's disorder have difficulty controlling handwriting size? A kinematic evaluation, Research in autism spectrum disorders, vol. 11, pp. 20-26, doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.11.001.

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Title Do children with autism and Asperger's disorder have difficulty controlling handwriting size? A kinematic evaluation
Author(s) Johnson, Beth P.
Phillips, James G.
Papadopoulos, NicoleORCID iD for Papadopoulos, Nicole
Fielding, Joanne
Tonge, Bruce
Rinehart, Nicole J.ORCID iD for Rinehart, Nicole J.
Journal name Research in autism spectrum disorders
Volume number 11
Start page 20
End page 26
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-03
ISSN 1750-9467
Keyword(s) Autism spectrum disorders
Fine motor
Visual cues
Summary Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often show difficulties in controlling letter size and consistent letter formation during handwriting; however, there has been little research into the underlying nature of handwriting impairments in this group. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of children with ASD to regulate the size and consistency of fundamental handwriting movements when using writing guides, and determine whether the kinematic profile during writing is different to typically developing children. Twenty-six boys with ASD (16 with high-functioning autism, 10 with Asperger's disorder) aged 8-13 years (IQ > 75), and 17 typically developing children wrote a series of four cursive letter l's using 10 mm and 40 mm writing guides, using a graphics tablet and stylus. Movement size and consistency was comparable between groups when the writing guides were set at 10 mm; however, handwriting movements of children with ASD were significantly faster and more fluent than typically developing children when writing guides were set at 40 mm. Neuromotor noise was comparable to that of typically developing children across both writing sizes. Clinically, our findings indicate that children with ASD have a well-automated motor plan for simple handwriting movements when writing guides are present and that problems of handwriting legibility in ASD are likely to arise from other factors, such as complex motor chaining (i.e. writing whole words and sentences), or attentional, working memory and linguistic demands when writing.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.11.001
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Elsevier
Persistent URL

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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