BACKGROUND AND AIM: Children with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) exhibit deficient daily performance concealed in their perception-action mechanism. The aim of this study was to analyze behavior organization of children with DCD, in varied tasks that require generating and monitoring mental representations related to space and time inputs/requirements, for achieving better insight about their perception-action mechanism.
METHOD: Participants included 42 children aged 7-10, half of whom were defined with DCD and half were typically developing (TD). The children were matched for age, gender and school. They were evaluated using the Movement-ABC and performed three handwriting tasks on an electronic tablet that is part of a computerized system (ComPET - Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool). In addition, their teachers completed the Questionnaire for Assessing Students' Organizational Abilities-Teachers (QASOA-T) to assess the children's daily organizational ability.
RESULTS: Significant group differences (DCD versus controls) were found for all handwriting kinematic measures across the three handwriting tasks and for the children's organizational abilities. Motor ability predicted a considerable percentage of the variance of the kinematic handwriting measures (30-37%), as well as a high percentage of the variance of their organizational abilities (67%). The coefficient of variance of the pen tilt added an additional 3% to the prediction of their organizational abilities.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study exhibited deficient ability among children with DCD in organizing their behavior in varied real-world tasks requiring generation and monitoring representation related to space and time. The significance of the results to understanding the performance mechanism and implication to the clinical field are discussed.
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