Abstract: Background: Drawing experience is a central graphomotor activity in preschool and may contribute to children’s future handwriting performance in school. Aims: To analyze and compare the drawing processes and product characteristics of children with and without drawing difficulties. Methods: Participants were 51 children aged four to six years, 26 with drawing difficulties and 25 controls without drawing difficulties, as defined by their teacher’s’ reports. The children performed three standardized drawing tasks on paper placed on a digital tablet that collected objective data of the drawing process. Their drawn product was scored according to standardized scoring procedures. Results: Children with drawing difficulties achieved significantly lower drawing product scores than did the controls. Significant differences were found in the drawing process measures (number of strokes, width of pen strokes on paper, and mean pen pressure). The drawing process outcomes significantly correlated with the final product scores in two of the three drawing tasks. Discriminant function analysis correctly grouped 80% of the children based on their drawing process and product measures/scores. Conclusions: Combining the dynamic characteristics and product scores of children’s drawing is effective in assessing children with drawing difficulties. Specifically, the Stars and Waves Test is a sensitive and effective test for identifying these children.
Keywords: drawing difficulties, drawing process, drawing product, assessment, children