What Is Developmental Coordination Disorder?

Coordination and motor skills are essential for any child to learn — but what happens when a specific population of children struggle with these daily functions? Developmental coordination disorder is a condition that makes it more challenging to learn coordination and motor skills. This neurodevelopmental disorder affects approximately 5-6% of children.

While it technically isn’t classified as a learning disability, it certainly affects a child’s learning capabilities. Children diagnosed with DCD (also commonly referred to as dyspraxia) will have the condition for the entirety of their lives, so it’s necessary for children with DCD to learn about their diagnosis and how to navigate life with it.

How Does DCD Affect My Child?

Your child can still live a happy, fulfilled life with dyspraxia! If you feel your child may have this condition, receiving a diagnosis is critical to better understand their needs.

Early symptoms of developmental coordination disorder include delayed crawling, walking, and self-feeding. You may notice that your child shows signs of DCD when they’re older because they’re noticeably clumsy — constantly dropping things, tripping, running into others, and lacking self-awareness when doing activities.

Children with DCD tend to struggle with certain activities in school, like using scissors, writing, and colouring.

How Can I Help My Child With DCD?

If you suspect your child has DCD, it is important to see your paediatrician to confirm the diagnosis. A comprehensive assessment from a paediatric physiotherapist who can assess for DCD would assist the paediatrician in their diagnosis and is highly recommended. Waitlists for paediatricians can be extensive, so consider starting the therapy journey while you wait.

Occupational therapists and paediatric physiotherapists can get a baseline of what your child is struggling with—school activities, coordination, or lack of specific motor skills—and work on a specialised plan incorporating different helpful activities. More specifically, paediatric physiotherapy can help a child develop and strengthen their coordination and balance.

It’s important to note that children with dyspraxia can be as intelligent as other children; they just need a little more assistance when learning to effectively accomplish tasks that don’t come naturally to them.

If you’re looking to give your child with developmental coordination disorder help, please contact us today! We are an allied health clinic in Western Sydney, Australia. If you are out of the area please connect with us for possible telehealth and home program options. We look forward to working with you and your family.

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