Development Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Written by Vuno Physio

Feb 19, 2021

Physiotherapists at Vuno physiotherapy can help with the treatment and management of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). DCD is a neurodevelopmental condition which impacts on a child’s ability to learn and perform everyday self care and personal tasks. Children with DCD have typically been described as “clumsy kids” who may fall behind their peers in tasks such as catching or throwing a ball. At Vuno Physiotherapy, by completing a thorough examination and assessment we will be able to provide the appropriate interventions to ensure the best outcomes are achieved.

What are some of the features in Developmental Coordination Disorder:

Physiotherapy for developmental coordinator disorder often begins after the initial features have been identified. Features of DCD are often identified by parents and are raised with health professionals, these features include:

  • Delays in achieving motor milestones
  • Dropping things/ clumsiness
  • Poor performance in sports
  • Poor handwriting

How is DCD diagnosed?

Similar to other behavioural and psychological diagnosis, DCD is diagnosed used the DSM V criteria. Specifically there are four key criteria which children need to meet to be diagnosed with this disorder. An interest article relating to DCD and the diagnosis and management can be found here.

How common is DCD?

DCD is common condition particularly in children with ASD, speech and languge delays, ADHD as well as social and emotional issues. In fact over 50% of children speech and language difficulties have co-occuring motor difficulties. (Kirby et al., 2014).

Physiotherapists and exercise physiologists at Vuno Physiotherapy work alongside the multidiciplinary team with other allied health professionals such as Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists. A few of the organisations that we work closely with include Your Functional Therapy, Word by Word Speech Therapy and Allied Health 2U.

Why does DCD occur?

DCD is thought to be related to delayed neuromaturation. Deficits can occur accross aspects of:

  • Motor Control (planning and anticipatory movements)
  • Motor learning (procedural learning)
  • Cognitive control (executive function)

Essentially the brain has difficulty making processes automatic and getting the various areas of the brain to work together. Rather everything happens in a step by pattern. For example, rather than stepping forward and taking hands out and opening palms all at the same time, each of those steps occurs one at a time.

How can physiotherapy and exercise physiology help?

Physiotherapists at Vuno physiotherapy and exercise physiologists at Allied Health 2U have the knowledge around the therory’s related to motor learning such as the Dynamic Systems Theory.

After a comprehensive assessment of the individual and what their specific needs are, practitioners will also consider the key aspects of the task as well as the environmental to ensure treatment strategies are unique and specific to the individual.

Treatment strategies are also based on improving an individuals activitiy limitations and participations restrictions as these are key factors to improve in the ICF model for care.

What Assessment can physiotherapists complete?

Physiotherapists at Vuno physiotherapy and exercise physiologists at Allied Health 2U may complete a range of various assessment to gain a good understanding regarding the motor deficits present, some of the key assessments include:

  • DCDQ
  • Bruiniks-Oseretsky test (BOT-2)
  • MABC-2

What are some other conditions that children’s physiotherapists may see?

There are a range of other conditions that children physiotherapists may see and they include:

  • Perthes Disease
  • Scoliosis
  • Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Genetic disorders
  • Following Orthopaedic interventions such as leg lengethening procedures

How can I get help?

If you are looking to get therapy just give us a call on 91907599 and one of our staff members will be able to assist.

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