Many children have difficulty with coordination that impacts their ability to perform everyday tasks, such as throwing and catching a ball or tying shoe laces. These children often shy away from activity and exercise, which may lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. Often these children display decreased self-confidence and decreased self-esteem which impacts interactions with their peers. Children, who are frequently described by their parents and teachers as ‘clumsy’ may have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).
Developmental Coordination Disorder is described as a motor skill disorder or difficulty coordinating movements. This is different from changes seen during a typical growth spurt. DCD affects 5-6% of school aged children and more commonly occurs in boys than girls. Children with DCD may have difficulty walking up and down stairs, riding a bike, and participating in sports, such as soccer or tee ball.
Common characteristics noted in children with DCD include;
- frequent falling or bumping into objects
- difficulty handling a fork and knife
- difficulty with activities that require changes in body position, such as tennis or jumping rope
- difficulty hopping and skipping
- poor hand writing and difficulty drawing
- avoidance of social places, like the playground
- difficulty determining right and left sides
Often intellectual and language skills are strong.
DCD can persist into adulthood impacting a person’s ability to perform daily life tasks, so it is important to see a pediatric physical or occupational therapist for an evaluation. Early intervention and treatment may help to reduce the emotional, physical and social consequences that are often associated with this disorder. The physical and occupational therapists at Fox Valley Physical Therapy and Wellness are trained in evaluating and treating DCD.
If you have any questions, please call 630/549-0511 to speak with a therapist or set up an appointment.