Upper Limb Kinematics of Handwriting among Children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder

Amani Abu-Ata, Dido Green, Ran Sopher, Sigal Portnoy*, Navah Z. Ratzon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) often experience difficulties with handwriting legibility and speed. This study investigates the relationship between handwriting and upper limb kinematics to characterize movement patterns of children with DCD and typically developing (TD) children. Methods: 30 children with and without DCD matched for age, gender, and parent education were compared across handwriting abilities using a standardized handwriting assessment of both copied and dictated tasks (A-A Handwriting). The 3D motion capture system (Qualysis) was used to analyze upper limb kinematics and characterize movement patterns during handwriting and contrasted with written output. Results: Children with DCD wrote fewer legible letters in both copying and dictation. Children with DCD also showed poor automatization of key writing concepts. Atypical wrist postures were associated with reduced legibility for children with DCD (F (1,27) 4.71, p = 0.04, p-η2 = 0.15); whereas for TD children, better legibility was associated with greater variations in movement speed, particularly of the wrist (rho = −0.578, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Results reflect different movement parameters influencing handwriting in children with DCD. An improved understanding of the movement characteristics during handwriting of these children may assist intervention design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9224
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • 3D motion analysis
  • DCD
  • handwriting
  • kinematics
  • legibility


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