Clinical Markers of Dysgraphia According to Intellectual Quotient in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

Author(s): Soukaina Hamdioui, Laurence Vaivre-Douret

Objective: Handwriting difficulties are commonly observed in children with high intellectual quotient (HIQ) and generally associated to developmental coordination disorder (DCD) but remain poorly understood. The aim of our study is to refine the specific clinical features of handwriting disorders in children with DCD regarding their IQ level.

Method: Neurovisual, neuroimaging, neuropsychological, neuropsychomotor functions, and handwriting performances of 38 children (6-to-12 years-old: mean 9y, SD 2.7), diagnosed with DCD (DSM-5 criteria), were analyzed. Among them, two matched groups were studied according to the Full IQ (FIQ) level: 19 typical-children (FIQ=90-110) and 19 HIQ children (FIQ> 120).

Results: Handwriting difficulties were present in both groups without statistical difference. Dysgraphia was significantly related to pyramidal-tract-dysfunction (p=0.01) and electroretinogram abnormalities (p=0.03) in both groups. In HIQ children, a specific marker was identified: visual gnosis impairment associated to deficit of visual-spatial memory.

Conclusions: Dysgraphia is a severe diagnosis involving the central nervous system, affecting the motor and neurovisual pathways and it rather appears as a comorbidity to DCD. Neurological-soft-signs and electroretinogram abnormalities can be considered as interesting clinical markers of dysgraphia in children with DCD. Children having FIQ>120 display visual gnosis disorder as a specific clinical marker of dysgraphia.

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