Purpose: This study compared measures of hand sensitivity and handwriting quality in children aged 10 to 12 years identified by their teachers as having nonproficient or proficient handwriting. We hypothesized that children with nonproficient handwriting have decreased kinesthetic sensitivity of the hands and digits.
Methods: Sixteen subjects without documented motor or cognitive concerns were tested for kinesthetic sensitivity, discriminate tactile awareness, diadochokinesia, stereognosis, and graphesthesia. Eight children were considered to have nonproficient handwriting; 8 had proficient handwriting. Nonparametric Mann-Whitney U tests were used to identify differences between groups on sensory tests.
Results: The 2 groups showed a statistically significant difference in handwriting legibility (P = .018). No significant difference was found on tests of kinesthetic sensitivity or other measures of sensation.
Conclusions: Children presenting with handwriting difficulty as the only complaint have similar sensitivity in hands and digits as those with proficient handwriting. Failure to detect differences may result from a small sample size.