Do children with ASD have difficulty handwriting under time pressure?

Grace, N., Rinehart, N.J., Enticott, P.G. and Johnson, B.P. 2017, Do children with ASD have difficulty handwriting under time pressure?, Research in autism spectrum disorders, vol. 37, pp. 21-30, doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2017.02.001.

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Title Do children with ASD have difficulty handwriting under time pressure?
Author(s) Grace, N.
Rinehart, N.J.ORCID iD for Rinehart, N.J.
Enticott, P.G.ORCID iD for Enticott, P.G.
Johnson, B.P.
Journal name Research in autism spectrum disorders
Volume number 37
Start page 21
End page 30
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2017-05-01
ISSN 1750-9467
Keyword(s) autism spectrum disorder
motor impairment
motor functioning
developmental disorder
Summary Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often experience significant handwriting impairment, however the influence of time pressure on overall performance is unclear. The aim of the current study was to characterise the handwriting profile of children with ASD across both non-speeded and speeded conditions, with particular focus given to spacing difficulties and handwriting errors. A further aim was to explore the relationships between handwriting and both intellectual and motor skills under different task conditions. Method Boys with ASD (n = 23) and matched controls (n = 20) aged 8–12 years completed a modified version of the speed subtest of the Handwriting Performance Test, which allowed for both an ecologically valid and relatively simple motoric task. Participants wrote a simple phrase (cat and dog) five times in each condition. Results No significant group differences were identified for handwriting errors or spacing between words in either condition, however the ASD group demonstrated greater variability relative to controls, particularly in the speeded condition. Significant negative associations were identified between motor proficiency and handwriting errors in the non-speeded condition. Conclusions While motor processes are shown to have a significant role in overall handwriting proficiency, it appears that motor ability may influence the handwriting process to different degrees, depending on the nature of the task employed. A lack of group differences with respect to handwriting errors and spacing between words may suggest that children with ASD have the ability to compensate for underlying motor impairment when completing a well-practiced writing task.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.rasd.2017.02.001
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
1701 Psychology
1303 Specialist Studies In Education
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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