Developmental Coordination Disorder is becoming a more common diagnosis in many pediatric therapy practices. Read more about it and check out the red flags to see if kids on your caseload are at risk for this disorder.
What is Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)?
If you’re a pediatric therapist, you may notice more and more kids on your caseload who have a diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). DCD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by poor motor coordination and delayed development of motor skills. In the past, DCD may have been referred to as Clumsy Child Syndrome or Childhood Coordination Disorder. Kids with DCD may be characterized as having perceptual motor difficulties or motor learning difficulties.
DCD affects 5-6% of school aged children and is more common in boys than girls. DCD frequently co-exists with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia, and Specific Language Disorder. Kids with DCD often struggle with walking, dressing, ball skills, and handwriting and the condition often doesn’t fully present until school age when these skills become more demanding.
For a child to qualify for a diagnosis of DCD they must demonstrate:
-Motor skills substantially below expected range with clumsiness, slowness, or inaccuracy
-Motor deficits that negatively impact school, ADLs, prevocation, or recreation
-Onset in early developmental period
-No other conditions or diagnoses to which the deficits can be attributed
The red flags listed here are commonly seen in kids with Developmental Coordination Disorder and can be used to identify kids who are at risk for this condition.
Grab the free printable about DCD and the free DCD Red Flags Checklist by filling out the form above.
Developmental Coordination Disorder Red Flags
-Poor motor coordination
-Delayed development of motor skills
-Difficulty with learning new motor tasks
-Difficulty with walking and/or running
-Difficulty with galloping
-Difficulty with skipping
-Difficulty with dressing skills
-Difficulty with ball skills
-Difficulty with scissor skills
-Difficulty with jumping/hopping
-Difficulty producing legible handwriting
-Difficulty with balance
-Poor postural control
-Slow to complete movements
-Lack of fluidity in movements
-Inaccuracy of movement
-Motor deficits negatively impact school performance
-Motor deficits negatively impact ADLs
-Motor deficits negatively impact recreation
-Hypotonicity or joint laxity
-Difficulty with planning and organization
Check out our FREE Task-Oriented Checklists for Therapists – perfect for using to break tasks down for kids with DCD!
Learn how to work on building core stability through play, another beneficial strategy for addressing DCD.
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