Developmental coordination disorders (DCD) is one of the most common disorders affecting school-aged children. The study aimed to characterize the handwriting performance of children with DCD who write in Arabic, based on triangular evaluation. Participants included 58 children aged 11-12 years, 29 diagnosed with DCD based on the DSM-IV criteria and the M-ABC, and 29 matched typically developed controls. Children were asked to copy a paragraph on a sheet of paper affixed to a digitizer supplying objective measures of the handwriting process. The handwriting proficiency screening questionnaire (HPSQ) was completed by their teachers while observing their performance and followed by evaluation of their final written product. Results indicated that compared to controls, children with DCD required significantly more on-paper and in-air time per stroke while copying. In addition, global legibility, unrecognizable letters and spatial arrangement measures of their written product were significantly inferior. Significant group differences were also found between the HPSQ subscales scores. Furthermore, 82.8% of all participants were correctly classified into groups based on one discriminate function which included two handwriting performance measures. These study results strongly propose application of triangular standardized evaluation to receive better insight of handwriting deficit features of individual children with DCD who write in Arabic.

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Published in: Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2013, 34, 4134-4141.