A study published last week in the journal Neurology suggests that the handwriting problems of children with autism spectrum disorder stem from difficulties with motor control.
Researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore tested 14 children with the disorder and 14 typically developing children on their motor and visuospatial skills, as well as basic handwriting tasks. The study found that autistic children had problems forming letters, but not in spacing or aligning them.
The report argues that identifying fine-motor problems as the source of handwriting problems for children with autism opens the way for parents, educators, and other professionals to develop techniques that can more directly target students handwriting difficulties.
A version of this article appeared in the November 18, 2009 edition of Education Week as Autism and Handwriting