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J Child Neurol. 2007 May;22(5):543-9.

Poor penmanship in children correlates with abnormal rhythmic tapping: a broad functional temporal impairment.

Author information

1
Department of Child Neurology, Stanford Medical Center, Stanford, California, USA. benpazi@gmail.com

Abstract

Timing is crucial for proficient motor tasks; temporal impairments may lead to dysfunctional motor activities. Although much research has been dedicated to the study of movement timing, clinical examination often overlooks temporal impairment of motor activity. The authors hypothesize that some children have a global temporal impairment leading to dysfunctional motor skills. This article checks whether temporal abnormalities detected on a simple tapping task correlate with temporal dysfunction during complex motor skills such as handwriting. Twenty-three school-aged children, 8-14 years (11.1 +/- 1.3 years), underwent tests to assess finger tapping and cursive handwriting. Handwriting samples were rated by experienced teachers. Children with abnormal tapping had lower handwriting rating scores. Temporal features were similar in both tasks; variability on the tapping test correlated with handwriting variability. Temporal variability was not significantly higher for children with poor penmanship as a whole but rather specific to the subgroup of children with a tapping abnormality. Poor penmanship could be attributed in certain children to global temporal impairment reflected as variable finger tapping and handwriting. Evaluation of dysfunctional motor performance should include temporal aspects, and further studies are needed to better delineate and address treatment of "dysrhythmia."

PMID:
17690059
DOI:
10.1177/0883073807302610
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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