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Chinese handwriting performance of primary school children with dyslexia

The aim of this study was to investigate the Chinese handwriting performance of typical children and children with dyslexia, and to examine whether speed and accuracy of handwriting could reliably discriminate these two groups of children. One hundred and thirty-seven children with dyslexia and 756 typical children were recruited from main stream primary schools for the study. They were requested to copy 90 Chinese characters using the Chinese Handwriting Assessment Tool (CHAT) jointly developed by a project team from two universities in Hong Kong. The process of handwriting was recorded and the stroke errors in writing were analyzed using the CHAT system. Results indicated that children with dyslexia wrote significantly slower, with greater average character size and variation in size (p < .05) than the typical children of same age group. They also wrote with significantly lower accuracy (p < .05). Commonly observed writing errors among the Dyslexic group were missing strokes and concatenated strokes. From the discriminant analysis, it was found that writing speed and accuracy were satisfactory discriminators that could discriminate students into the two groups, with reasonably good classification accuracy of over 70% for every grade. The results were discussed with theoretical implications in relation to fine motor skills, kinesthetic abilities, visual perceptual skills, and the demand of written tasks in school.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities