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Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

What is Developmental Coordination  Disorder? – Blog By Alice Smith

DCD is a motor skills disorder that affects 5-6% of school aged children. It refers to a delay in motor skill development and a difficulty in coordinating movements which leads to a child experiencing difficulty performing everyday tasks. Children are often described as clumsy or awkward by their parents or teachers. Boys are more likely to develop this disorder than girls. This incoordination may have an impact on academic progress, social integration and emotional development. By definition children with DCD do not have an identifiable medical or neurological condition that can explain their coordination issues.

Conditions that can be present in addition to DCD include ADHD, speech and language disorders and autism.

Image result for developmental coordination disorder
In DCD, boys are more affected than girls


Your physiotherapist will assess your child to see whether they may have DCD. Strict diagnostic criteria does apply. Your physiotherapist will look at:

  • Balance
  • Walking
  • Control and coordination of movement
  • Fine motor skills
  • Muscle tone (tension in your child’s muscles) Ability to organise themselves.


Treatment of this disorder revolves around specific skill retraining as guided by your physiotherapist. For example, if your child is struggling to catch a ball, then this specific task will be practiced appropriately. The movement will be broken down in a fun way to assist the development of this skill.
It is very important to make the exercises interesting enjoyable in order to get the best results.
Some play ideas for home might include:

  • Trampoline
  • Obstacle courses
  • Playgrounds
  • Hopscotch
  • Chasing bubbles or balloons
  • Walking/ balancing on beams
  • Kindergym and playgroup may also be suggested for your child. Engaging with other children who are at a similar skill level can help to build confidence and social skills while working on their coordination.
The boy is being treated by the Physiotherapist 


If you have noticed that your child may be delayed in their motor skills or are interested in an assessment to find this out, then we will be happy to help you.

Book an appointment today for your assessment!

Blog Post by Alice Smith (Physiotherapist)