BACKGROUND: Writing ability requires to use and control several processes of visual and phonological information processing and an adequate programming and coordination of motor sequences. We studied a writing precursor gesture in children with developmental dysorthography and/or developmental dysgraphia in order to point out anomalies to be treated with specific rehabilitative interventions. METHODS: Twenty-five children affected by developmental dysortography (ICD 9 CM: 315.09; ICD 10: F81.1) and/or developmental dysgraphia (ICD 9 CM: 315.2; ICD 10: F81.8) (mean age 9.1 years [range: 6.3-11.4 years]) ran a maze, project in front of them, using a wireless mouse. Data regarding angular excursions, execution times and gesture accuracy were collected and elaborated using Dartfish 6.0 software and the labyrinth generating program (PRINC), and compared with normative data previously obtained from a sample of 226 healthy children of the same age and grade. RESULTS: The comparison did not evidence significant differences regarding gesture structure (trajectories of arm segments and angular excursions of interested joints). Angular and temporal execution patterns were reached in delay in these children. No correlation was found with general cognitive and visuomotor integration skills; a deficit of visual attention was associated with an abnormal elbow range of motion. CONCLUSIONS: Although these findings need to be confirmed in larger studies, data obtained evidence that children with developmental writing disorders have a time delay in the acquisition of writing motor patterns and not an alteration of gesture structure itself. This has relevant implications for the rehabilitative approach.
- Specific learning disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health