Reading and Writing Skills in Children With Specific Learning Disabilities With and Without Developmental Coordination Disorder

in Motor Control
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This pilot study is to investigate the influence of a developmental coordination disorder (DCD) comorbidity in a group of children with learning disability (LD). Reading and writing were assessed to investigate if the coexistence of a motor impairment can worsen writing quality, speed, and reading accuracy. A sample of 33 LD children (aged 7–11 years) was divided in two subgroups, on the base of their scores on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children: LD-only (n = 14) and LD with a comorbidity for DCD (LD–DCD, n = 19). No differences were found in handwriting speed, but significant differences were found in handwriting quality: LD–DCD children showed a worst performance. Reading words and nonwords accuracy was more impaired in LD-only children than in LD–DCD children. Group differences suggest a poorer phonological decoding of the LD-only sample, whereas worst cursive handwriting legibility scores are typical of the motor-impaired subgroup.

Di Brina, Averna, Rampoldi, and Penge are with Dept. of Pediatrics and Child Neuropsychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. Averna is also with the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy. Rossetti is with the Dept. of Clinical Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Address author correspondence to Carlo Di Brina at cdibrina@tiscali.it.
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