Diagnostic, Demographic, and Neurocognitive Correlates of Dysgraphia in Students with ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, and Neurotypical Development

Susan Mayes, Sara S. Frye, Rosanna P. Breaux, Susan Calhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The importance of diagnostic, demographic, and neurocognitive correlates of dysgraphia in 1006 students 6–16 years was determined. Children with ADHD or autism (n = 831) and neurotypical children (n = 175) were administered the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI), Wechsler subscales, and reading and math tests. IQ was the strongest correlate of dysgraphia (VMI scores), followed by diagnosis (ADHD/autism vs. neurotypical). Visual-fine motor ability was the only other significant correlate. Verbal and visual reasoning ability, processing speed, working memory, attention, reading, and math did not contribute significantly more to concurrently predicting dysgraphia, nor did age, sex, race, and parent occupation. Dysgraphia was common in children with ADHD (56%) and autism (56%), especially those with a learning disability in reading (71%) or math (72%). The study demonstrates the importance of controlling for both IQ and diagnosis when examining factors related to dysgraphia, which previous studies have not done. Students with ADHD, autism, learning disability, or fine motor problems should be evaluated for dysgraphia because the majority of students with any one of these problems will have impaired handwriting, which needs to be identified and addressed in school. Effective accommodations to compensate for dysgraphia are available to help avoid its negative repercussions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-507
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

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Agraphia
Learning Disorders
Autistic Disorder
Demography
Students
Reading
Aptitude
Handwriting
Short-Term Memory
Occupations

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "The importance of diagnostic, demographic, and neurocognitive correlates of dysgraphia in 1006 students 6–16 years was determined. Children with ADHD or autism (n = 831) and neurotypical children (n = 175) were administered the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI), Wechsler subscales, and reading and math tests. IQ was the strongest correlate of dysgraphia (VMI scores), followed by diagnosis (ADHD/autism vs. neurotypical). Visual-fine motor ability was the only other significant correlate. Verbal and visual reasoning ability, processing speed, working memory, attention, reading, and math did not contribute significantly more to concurrently predicting dysgraphia, nor did age, sex, race, and parent occupation. Dysgraphia was common in children with ADHD (56{\%}) and autism (56{\%}), especially those with a learning disability in reading (71{\%}) or math (72{\%}). The study demonstrates the importance of controlling for both IQ and diagnosis when examining factors related to dysgraphia, which previous studies have not done. Students with ADHD, autism, learning disability, or fine motor problems should be evaluated for dysgraphia because the majority of students with any one of these problems will have impaired handwriting, which needs to be identified and addressed in school. Effective accommodations to compensate for dysgraphia are available to help avoid its negative repercussions.",
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