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Am J Occup Ther. 2012 Nov-Dec;66(6):682-90. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2012.004556.

Effect of robotic-assisted three-dimensional repetitive motion to improve hand motor function and control in children with handwriting deficits: a nonrandomized phase 2 device trial.

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  • 1College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA.



We explored the efficacy of robotic technology in improving handwriting in children with impaired motor skills.


Eighteen participants had impairments arising from cerebral palsy (CP), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other disorders. The intervention was robotic-guided three-dimensional repetitive motion in 15-20 daily sessions of 25-30 min each over 4-8 wk.


Fine motor control improved for the children with learning disabilities and those ages 9 or older but not for those with CP or under age 9. All children with ASD or ADHD referred for slow writing speed were able to increase speed while maintaining legibility.


Three-dimensional, robot-assisted, repetitive motion training improved handwriting fluidity in children with mild to moderate fine motor deficits associated with ASD or ADHD within 10 hr of training. This dosage may not be sufficient for children with CP.

Copyright © 2012 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

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