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Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD

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What is Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) affects children and may persist into adult life. It is a delay or impairment in motor development characterised by clumsiness or awkwardness. Children with DCD usually have difficulty performing gross motor tasks, such as crawling, walking, jumping, standing on one foot and catching a ball. The child’s fine motor skills, such as those required to tie a shoelace or to write may also be affected and children with DCD may have poor handwriting. Speech difficulties may also be evident.

Statistics on Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD

Approximately 1 in 20 primary school-aged children (6%) has Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). The incidence is lower in older age groups.

Risk Factors for Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD

The cause of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is not known. It is not known whether there are any factors that increase the risk of a child having DCD. DCD may be associated with disorders of speech or writing.

Progression of Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD

The number of people reported as having Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) decreases with age, which suggests that many children with DCD improve their coordination as they get older.

DCD can persist into adulthood. Complications of persistent DCD include: repeated injuries, learning difficulties, poor self-esteem and an unwillingness to participate in physical activities, which may be embarrassing. Physical inactivity places patients at a higher risk of being overweight and developing further complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

How is Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD Diagnosed?

Investigations (medical tests) may need to be performed to rule out medical causes of clumsiness before Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is diagnosed.

Prognosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD

The prognosis for patients who suffer from Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) depends on many factors, such as the severity of the disorder, therapeutic intervention and the development of complications, such as injuries, learning difficulties and poor self-esteem. For some children symptoms resolve as they get older. Others have symptoms that persist through adolescence and into adulthood.

How is Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD Treated?

There is no definitive treatment for Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Physical education and perceptual motor training are recommended by some sources. Relatively specific training, based on targets and contexts that relate directly to everyday life, and have practical uses for children have been shown to be more effective than teaching more generalised skills.

Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD References

[1] Dilley JW. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Developmental Coordination Disorder [online]. 2004 cited [12/1/04]. Available from URL: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001533.htm
[2] Hertogenbosch NL. DCD [online]. 2000 [cited 2000]. Available from URL: http://www.orthopedagogiek.com/d_c_d_.htm
[3] Long M. Developmental Coordination Disorder Interpretations and Interventions [online]. 2004 [cited October 2004]. Available from URL: http://www.psych-ed.org/Topics/DCD.htm
[4] psychNet-UK. Disorder Information Sheet Developmental Coordination Disorder [online]. 2005 [cited 29 May 2005]. Available from URL: http://www.psychnet-uk.com/dsm_iv/developmental_coordination_disorder.htm

Dates

Posted On: 12 May, 2005
Modified On: 24 January, 2014

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