Do Relationships Exist between Brain-Hand Language and Daily Function Characteristics of Children with a Hidden Disability?

  • Sara Rosenblum
  • Miri Livneh-Zirinski
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 26)


Objective: To discover whether children with a hidden disability such as Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) have unique brain-hand language (handwriting) and daily function characteristics and whether there are relationships between these characteristics.

Method: 20 children diagnosed with DCD and 20 typically developed controls aged 7-10 performed the Alphabet writing task on a page affixed to an electronic tablet, a component of the ComPET which documented their handwriting process. Further, their organizational ability was evaluated through daily function events as reported by their parents.

Results: Significant group differences (DCD versus controls) were found in the coefficient of variance of spatial, temporal and pressure writing process measures. Specific handwriting measures predicted the level of children’s organization abilities through daily function.

Conclusions: These results emphasize the need for further development of sophisticated computerized methods so as to gain deeper insight concerning daily function characteristics of children with hidden disabilities.


handwriting DCD daily function 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Kaplan, B.J., Wilson, B.N., Dewey, D.M., Crawford, S.G.: DCD not be a discrete disorder. Human Movement Science 17, 471–490 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Josman, N., Rosenblum, S.: A meta-cognitive model for children with atypical brain development (ABD). In: Naomi, K. (ed.) Cognition, Occupation and Participation Across the Life Span, 3rd edn. AOTA Press, Bethesda (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cairney, J., Hay, J.A., Faught, B.E., Flouris, A., Klentrou, P.: Developmental coordination disorder and cardiorespiratory fitness in children. Pediatric Exercise Science 19(1), 20–28 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wann, J.: Current approaches to intervention in children with developmental coordination disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 49(6), 467–471 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kadesjo, B., Gillberg, C.: Developmental coordination disorder in Swedish 7-year-old children. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 38(7), 820–828 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lingam, R., Hunt, L., Golding, J., Jongmans, M., Emond, A.: Prevalence of developmental coordination disorder using the DSM-IV at 7 years of age: A UK population-based study. Pediatrics 123(4), 693–700 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical of mental disorders– DSM-IV, 4th edn. Author, Washington (1994)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Barnett, A.: Seminar 2: Assessment. Handwriting: Its assessment and role in the diagnosis of Developmental Coordination disorder. In: Sugden, D.A. (ed.) Developmental Coordination Disorder as a Specific Learning Difficulty, pp. 18–21. University of Leeds (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bonny, A.M.: Understanding and assessing handwriting difficulties: Perspective from the literature. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 39, 7–15 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reisman, J.: Development and reliability of the research version of the Minnesota Handwriting Test. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics 13(2), 41–55 (1993)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rosenblum, S., Parush, S., Weiss, P.L.: Computerized temporal handwriting characteristics of proficient and non-proficient handwriters. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 57(2), 129–138 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    McBride-Chang, C.: The ABCs of the ABCs: The development of letter-name and letter-sound knowledge. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 45, 285–308 (1999)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rosenblum, S.: Using the Alphabet task to differentiate between proficient and non-proficient handwriters. Perceptual and Motor Skills 100, 629–639 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wasik, B.A.: Teaching the alphabet to young children. Young Children 56, 34–40 (2001)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wilson, C., Simpson, S.E., Van Emmerik, R.E.A., Hamill, J.: Coordination variability and skill development in expert triple jumpers. Sports Biomechanics 7, 2–9 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hiley, M.J., Zuevsky, V.V., Yeadon, M.R.: Is skilled technique characterized by high or low variability? An analysis of high bar giant circles. Human Movement Science 32, 171–180 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Godefroy, O.: Frontal syndrome and disorders of executive functions. Journal of Neurology 250, 1–6 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Godefroy, O., Aithamon, B., Azouvy, P., Didic, M., Le Gall, D., Marie´, R.M., et al.: Groupe de re´flexion sur l’evaluation des fonctions executives. Syndromes frontaux et dysexe´cutifs 160, 899–909 (2004)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dewey, Summers, Larkin: Daily Activities Performance for children aged 5 to 12 – parent questionnaire (in process)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zentall, S.S., Harper, G.W., Stormont-Spurgin, M.: Children with hyperactivity and their organizational abilities. Journal of Educational Research 87, 112–117 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Henderson, S.E., Sugden, D.: The movement assessment battery for children. The Psychological Corporation, London (1992)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lacquaniti, F., Ferringo, G., Pedotti, A., Soechting, J.F., Terzuolo, C.: Changes in spatial scale in drawing and handwriting: Kinematic contributions by proximal and distal joints. Journal of Neuroscience 7, 819–828 (1987)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mavrogiorgou, P., Mergl, R., Tigges, P., El Husseini, J., Schrter, A., Juckel, G., Zaudig, M., Hegerl, U.: Kinematic analysis of handwriting movements in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry 70, 605–612 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Latash, L.P.: Automation of movement: Challenges to the notions of the orienting reaction and memory. In: Mark, M.L. (ed.) Progress in Motor Control, pp. 51–88. Human Kinetics, Champaign (1998)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M., Van Galen, G.P.: Dysgraphia in children: Lasting psychomotor deficiency or transient developmental delay? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 67, 164–184 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dixon, R.A., Kurzman, D., Friesen, I.C.: Handwriting performance in younger and older adults: Age, familiarity, and practice effects. Psychology and Aging 8, 360–370 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Chang, S.H., Yu, N.Y.: Characterization of motor control in handwriting difficulties in children with or without developmental coordination disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 52, 244–250 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Medwell, J., Wray, D.: Handwriting: what do we know and what do we need to know? Literacy 41, 10–15 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Christensen, C.A.: The critical role handwriting plays in the ability to produce high-quality written text. In: Roger, B., Debra, M., Jeni, R., Martin, N. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Writing Development, pp. 284–299. Sage, London (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Graham, S., Weintruab, N., Berninger, V.: Which manuscript letters do primary grade children write legibly. Journal of Educational Psychology 93, 488–497 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Berninger, V., Swanson, H.L.: Modifying Hayes & Flower’s model of skilled writing to explain beginning and developing writing. In: Earl, B. (ed.) Children’s Writing: Toward a Process Theory of the Development of Skilled Writing, pp. 57–81. JAI Press, Greenwich (1994)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mandich, A.D., Polatajko, H.J., Rodger, S.: Rites of passage: Understanding participation of children with developmental coordination disorder. Human Movement Science 22, 583–595 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    May-Benson, T., Ingolia, P., Koomar, J.: Daily living skills and developmental coordination disorder. In: Sharon, C.A., Dawne, L. (eds.) Developmental Coordination Disorder, pp. 140–156. Delmar, Albany (2002)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Missiuna, C., Moll, S., Law, M., King, G., King, S.: Mysteries and mazes: Parents’ experiences of developmental coordination disorder. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 73, 7–17 (2007)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rosenblum, S.: The development and standardization of the Children Activity Scales (ChAS-P/T) for the early identification of children with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD). Child Care Health and Development 32(6), 619–632 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Summers, J., Larkin, D., Dewey, D.: Activities of daily living in children with developmental coordination disorder: Dressing, personal hygiene, and eating skills. Hum. Mov. Sci. 27, 215–229 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Alizadeh, H., Zahedipour, M.: Executive functions in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder. Advances in Cognitive Science 6(3-4), 49–56 (2005)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Piek, J.P., Dyck, M.J., Nieman, A., Anderson, M., Hay, D., Smith, L.M., et al.: The relationship between motor coordination, executive functioning and attention in school aged children. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 19, 1063–1076 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Graham, S., Struck, M., Santoro, J., Berninger, V.W.: Dimensions of good and poor handwriting legibility in first and second graders: motor programs, visual-spatial arrangement, and letter formation parameter setting. Developmental Neuropsychology 29, 43–60 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Van Galen, G.P.: Handwriting: Issues for a psychomotor theory. Human Movement Science 10, 165–191 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ben-Pazi, H., Kukke, S., Sanger, T.D.: Poor penmanship in children correlates with abnormal rhythmic tapping: A broad functional temporal impairment. Journal of Child Neurology 22(5), 543–549 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Geuze, R.H., Kalverboer, A.F.: Inconsistency and adaptation in timing of clumsy children. Journal of Human Movement Studies 13, 421–432 (1987)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Geuze, R.H., Kalverboer, A.F.: Tapping a rhythm: A problem of timing for children who are clumsy and dyslexic? Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 11, 203–213 (1994)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Johnston, L.M., Burns, Y.R., Brauer, S.G., Richardson, C.A.: Differences in postural control and movement performance during goal directed reaching in children with development coordination disorder. Human Movement Science 21, 583–601 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Mackenzie, S., Getchell, N., Deutsch, K., Annemiek, W.F., Clark, J., Waitall, J.: Multi-limb coordination and rhythmic variability under varying sensory availability conditions in children with DCD. Human Movement Science 27(2), 256–269 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Zelanznik, N.H., Spencer, R.M., Ivry, R.B.: Dissociation of explicit and implicit timing in repetitive tapping and drawing movement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 28, 575–588 (2002)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Schaal, S., Sternad, D., Osu, R., Kawato, M.: Rhythmic arm movement is not discrete. Nature Neuroscience 7, 1136–1143 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ameratunga, D., Johnston, L., Burns, Y.: Goal-oriented upper limb movements by children with and without DCD: A window into perceptuomotor dysfunction? Physiotherapy Research International 9(1), 1–12 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Coleman, R., Piek, J.P., Livesey, D.J.: A longitudinal study of motor ability and kinaesthetic acuity in young children at risk of Developmental Coordination Disorder. Human Movement Science 20, 95–110 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Wilson, P.H., McKenzie, B.E.: Information processing deficits associated with Developmental coordination disorder: A meta-analysis of research findings. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 39(6), 829–840 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Piek, J., Pitcher, T.A.: Processing deficits in children with movement and attention deficits. In: Dewey, D., Tupper, D.E. (eds.) Developmental Motor Disorders, Guilford Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Lundy-Ekman, L., Ivry, R., Keele, S., Woollacott, M.: Timing and force control deficits in clumsy children. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 3, 367–376 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Zwicker, J.G., Missiuna, C., Harris, S.R., Boyd, L.A.: Brain activation of children with developmental coordination disorder is different than peers. Pediatrics, e678–e686 (2010)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Alloway, T.P., Rajendran, G., Archibald, L.M.D.: Working memory in children with developmental disorders. Journal of Learning Disabilities 42(4), 372–882 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Kaplan, B., Dewey, D., Crawford, S., Wilson, B.: The term Comorbidity is of questionable value in reference to Developmental Disorders. Journal of Learning Disabilities 34(6), 555–565 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Skinner, R.A., Piek, J.P.: Psychosocial implications of poor motor coordination in children and adolescents. Human Movement Science 20, 73–94 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Segal, R., Mandich, A., Polatajko, H., Cook, J.V.: Stigma and its management: A pilot study of parental perceptions of the experiences of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 56, 422–428 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health SciencesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Child Development CenterKupat Holim MeuhedetHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations