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Computer tools to assist the diagnosis of dyspraxia

Boyle, Timothy (2007) Computer tools to assist the diagnosis of dyspraxia. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94227) (KAR id:94227)

Language: English

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Dyspraxia is a condition which relates to an impairment in the development of motor coordination, and which has been estimated to affect around 6% of children. It is a highly debilitating condition, seriously undermining both academic and social development. It is, however, a condition which can be difficult to diagnose, and one which can be reflected in different aspects of behaviour.

This thesis discusses an approach to the assessment of Dyspraxia in which computer tools can be used to support the detailed monitoring and analysis of a child’s behaviour during standardised testing procedures. Current methods of diagnosis require specially trained clinical staff and can be very time consuming. We have taken one of the standard assessment tests, the Beery Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (the VMI Test), and investigated improvements which can be achieved using computer software. The proposed improvements relate both to supporting more objective and automated support for test analysis, but also to the provision of options to extract characteristics of behaviour which are traditionally difficult to extract using conventional procedures. We have developed software to provide support to a clinician scoring the VMI. We have produced a generalised assessment system for any figure copying task. This has been adapted to score the VMI test. Novel approaches to diagnosing Dyspraxia have also been discussed. On-line data capture provides an assortment of measures which are unavailable to a scoring system based solely on a static image.

Overall, the work reported describes and evaluates a package of tools which can be used to support diagnostic procedures in routine clinical practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94227
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 11:51 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2023 11:51 UTC
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