Timing abilities among children with developmental coordination disorders (DCD) in comparison to children with typical development

Res Dev Disabil. 2013 Jan;34(1):218-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2012.07.011. Epub 2012 Sep 6.


Timing ability is essential for common everyday performance. The aim of the study was to compare timing abilities and temporal aspects of handwriting performance and relationships between these two components among children with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) and a control group. Forty two children, 21 diagnosed as DCD and 21 with typical development, aged 7-12, were matched for age, gender and school performed 14 tasks of the interactive metronome (IM) and three functional handwriting tasks on an electronic tablet that was part of a computerized system (ComPET--computerized penmanship evaluation tool). The IM supplies response time, while on-paper and in-air time per written stroke is received from the ComPET. Results indicated significant differences between the groups for both IM and handwriting tasks (ComPET). Linear regression indicated that the mean IM response time explained 37% of variance of the in-air time per stroke during a paragraph-copying task. Furthermore, based on one discriminate function including two measures reflected timing ability, 81% of all participants were correctly classified into groups. Study results strongly recommend consideration of the IM as an evaluation and intervention tool for children with DCD who are faced with timing deficits in their everyday functioning.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Computer Peripherals
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Handwriting*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Motor Skills Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Motor Skills Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Motor Skills Disorders* / rehabilitation
  • Movement / physiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Software