Movement Difficulties Affect Childrens Learning: An Overview of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)


  • Priscila Cacola



Developmental Coordination Disorder, dyspraxia, motor skills, handwriting, accommodations


The study of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) has emerged as a vibrant line of inquiry over the last three decades. DCD is defined as a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by poor motor proficiency that interferes with a childs activities of daily living (sometimes also known as dyspraxia). Common symptoms include marked delays in achieving motor milestones and clumsiness, typically associated with poor balance, coordination, and especially handwriting skills. The condition occurs in 5% to 6% of American school-aged children, implying that most school classes have at least one affected child. The outcomes associated with DCD often extend beyond the motor domain to include secondary mental health, emotional, and behavioral issues, with reports on higher anxiety and depression, poor social communication, being bullied, lower global self-esteem, and less participation in typical childhood activities. Because of those consequences, early diagnosis, treatment, and educational support are important. The purpose of this review is to summarize the relevant evidence on the topic of DCD for professionals of the learning disabilities field, providing specific information on its assessment, classification, treatment, learning implications, and practical tips to assist school practitioners, educators, and administrators.