Navigation Links
For Teens With Autism, Handwriting Problems May Persist
Date:11/15/2010

MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Poor handwriting among children with autism tends to persist well into the teen years, a new study finds.

Unlike with younger children, the reason for the poor handwriting among teens seems to have less to do with motor skills issues than with problems in "perceptual reasoning," or the ability to reason through problems with nonverbal material.

The study, by researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, is published in the Nov. 16 issue of Neurology.

In the study, 24 girls and boys aged 12 to 16, half of whom had an autism spectrum disorder, were asked to write a scrambled sentence ("the brown jumped lazy fox quick dogs over") as neatly as they could.

IQ tests showed all of the teens, both with autism and typically developing, scored within the normal range of perceptual reasoning. Researchers also tested teens' motor skills, including balance and timed movements.

The handwriting sample was scored on five measures, including legibility, form, alignment, size and spacing.

On average, kids with autism had poorer handwriting than kids without autism. The average score for autistic kids was 167 out of 204 possible points, and normally developing teens scored an average of 183.

While teens with autism were also more likely to have motor skill impairments, problems in that area were not associated with sloppier handwriting.

Yet scoring worse on the test of perceptual reasoning was associated with worse handwriting among children with autism.

"The importance of this research was not 'if' children and adolescents with autism struggle with handwriting, which many individuals can already attest to, but rather to document the extent of the challenge and determine if we could reveal anything about 'why' it is the case," senior study author Amy Bastian, director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, said in an institute news release.

Handwriting problems may offer clues about how the brains of kids with autism function and what types of interventions could help overcome such difficulties, the study authors explained.

Handwriting is important for success in school, in social life and on the job, said Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer at Autism Speaks. Being able to write clearly is even more important for people who have difficulty communicating verbally, as many with autism do.

"Almost every subject taught in school requires handwriting skills, so if a child or adolescent has writing difficulties, this can be very frustrating," Dawson said. "Kids with autism may need more time to complete their tests and homework."

An occupational therapist can determine why a child or adolescent is having difficulty writing and offer help, Dawson said.

"Handwriting requires many skills, including visual skills, hand strength, memory, and good posture," Dawson said. "Different kids have different problems, so it is important to individualize the methods used to improve handwriting."

Therapies that may work include using special pencil grippers, lined paper and exercises to improve posture, coordination and strength. Some kids find that using a computer or other keyboard is much easier than writing.

"Using an alternative form of communication, such as a keyboard, can make a world of difference for some kids," Dawson said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on autism.

-- Jenifer Goodwin

SOURCES: Kennedy Krieger Institute, news release, Nov. 15, 2010; American Academy of Neurology, news release, Nov. 15, 2010; Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., chief science officer, Autism Speaks, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study Urges Teens to Cut Down on Salt
2. Obese Teens Likely to Be Obese Adults, Study Finds
3. Teens Waiting Longer for Sex, But Still Taking Risks: Analysis
4. Teens of Epileptic Mothers May Lag Academically: Study
5. Teens of epileptic moms display poor school performance
6. For Many Teens, Oral Sex Leads to Riskier Activity
7. Study Finds Teens Late Night Media Use Comes at a Price
8. Half of Teens Treated for Depression Will Relapse: Study
9. Teens Should Get Meningitis Booster Shot: CDC Panel
10. Teens, Parents Often Lie About Illicit Drug Use
11. Binge Drinking, Pot Could Put Teens Intellect at Risk: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
For Teens With Autism, Handwriting Problems May Persist
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of ... award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , ... Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its first-ever “Issue ... conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding work of ... and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we recognize the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  MedSource announced today that it has ... solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s ... their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data ... nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice in ... "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC platform ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has ... of the current process. Many of them do not even ... technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ... it at such a high cost that the majority of ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... the 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: