D is for Developmental Co-ordination Disorder

June 20, 2021

Developmental co-ordination disorder is an under-recognized disorder to development in children that affects gait.

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the coordination of movement and is not due to any known medical condition. It is characterized by difficulties in planning, executing, and coordinating motor skills and movements.

Individuals with DCD often experience challenges in various areas, including:

  1. Motor Skills: Difficulties may arise in performing both gross motor skills (e.g., walking, running, jumping) and fine motor skills (e.g., tying shoelaces, using utensils, handwriting). Coordination, balance, and spatial awareness may be affected.
  2. Motor Planning: Planning and organizing movements can be challenging for individuals with DCD. They may have difficulty sequencing actions, leading to clumsy or awkward movements.
  3. Perception and Sensory Integration: Sensory processing issues may be present, affecting the ability to interpret and respond to sensory information. This can impact activities that require precise perception, such as catching a ball or judging distances.
  4. Organization and Time Management: Difficulties with organization, time management, and completing tasks efficiently are common. Individuals with DCD may struggle with planning and breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps.
  5. Learning and Academics: DCD can affect academic performance, particularly in activities involving handwriting, drawing, and fine motor skills required for tasks like cutting with scissors or using a keyboard.
  6. Social and Emotional Challenges: Some individuals with DCD may experience social difficulties due to limitations in participating in physical activities with peers. This can impact self-esteem, confidence, and social interactions.

The exact cause of DCD is not well understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors that disrupt the development of motor skills. The condition often coexists with other neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or specific learning disorders.

Diagnosis of DCD is typically based on a thorough evaluation by healthcare professionals, including observations of motor skills, developmental history, and assessments of motor coordination. Early identification and intervention are crucial for managing the challenges associated with DCD.

Treatment and management of DCD involve a multidisciplinary approach, which may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, and educational support. These interventions aim to improve motor skills, enhance coordination, develop strategies for coping with difficulties, and support academic and social participation.

With appropriate support and interventions, individuals with DCD can learn to compensate for their challenges and improve their overall coordination and functional abilities.


Comments are closed.