Developmental Coordination Disorder
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) affects motor coordination. Muscle control and motor coordination develop at different rates in different people, however some people continue to have serious problems with fine motor, gross motor, or oral motor coordination well after peers have mastered these skills. Examples of areas where symptoms may be evident are in difficulties with: printing and writing, playing sports, climbing, dressing, eating neatly, chewing, and pronouncing words. For DCD to be diagnosed by a physician, performance in daily activities requiring motor coordination is substantially below what is expected, given the child's chronological age and measured intelligence. The problem must significantly interfere with academic achievement or activities of daily living. The condition must not be due to a general medical condition (cerebral palsy, etc.), Pervasive Developmental Disorder, or mental retardation. Muscle tone and strength are not factors in this condition.
It has been estimated that 6 - 9 % of the population between the ages of 5 - 15 show evidence of DCD. Often, other family members have experienced similar difficulties or learning difficulties. DCD may be associated with other learning disabilities. Children with DCD may develop poor self esteem and school failure, which can lead to further problems. Coordination generally improves with age, unless DCD is severe, or unless the child avoids motor practice. Children may also learn strategies to deal with their weak areas. Some coordination problems can persist through adulthood.
Children with DCD may demonstrate the following signs:
-Avoidance of sports, crafts, motor games
-Difficulty with buttons, shoe tying, zippers
-Awkward use of eating utensils, difficulty chewing, very messy eating
-Problems with articulation
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding DCD and your child.