Early Identification of Children who Demonstrate Movement Difficulties in Physical Education and the Classroom


  • Chantelle Zimmer
  • Kerri Staples
  • Wanda Lyons


identification, assessment, intervention


Many children demonstrate persistent difficulties in learning and using skills that contribute to their academic performance in core curricular areas. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and specific learning disorders (SLDs) appear to demonstrate similar impairments in the traits thought to underlie and contribute to the performance of a variety of movement skills, which may impact their performance in physical education and the classroom. This study aimed to describe the movement profiles of primary school children who were identified as demonstrating characteristics associated with a diagnosis of DCD or SLDs. Similar impairments were found for both groups of children on tasks of manual dexterity and balance, but not aiming and catching. It is important that educators recognize and understand the broad range of difficulties these children may experience to better meet their educational needs.

Author Biographies

Chantelle Zimmer

Chantelle Zimmer is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. This research was conducted during her MSc research at the University of Regina.

Kerri Staples

Kerri Staples is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina.

Wanda Lyons

Wanda Lyons is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina.





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