Focus on DCD/Dyspraxia

  • About 6-8 % of children appear to be developing in the usual way yet seem to have difficulties with coordination and with learning new skills which affects their function and participation at home, at school and in the playground. 

    Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is the internationally accepted name for this condition. 

  • Typically developing children learn new age-appropriate skills with little formal instruction,  at an amazing rate and and in such an easy manner that many of  the underlying processes that contribute to such learning are taken for granted. 

    Children with DCD often need explicit instructions and graded practice to learn the same skills.

  • Persistent and repeated practice is needed to learn any new movement skill – whether it be learning to ride a bicycle, play the violin, learn to walk, stand on one leg for 10s  or cut with a pair of scissors. 

    You start of by having a good idea of what you want to achieve,  a goal and possibly some idea of how that goal might be achieved. The next step is to explore ways of achieving your goal – trying out different possibilities and deciding which is the most efficient and then repeating the actions until you can do the action easily.

  • Pouring from a watering can.

    A list of the activities and tasks a child engages in on a typical school day. Use the list to identify the tasks that your child can do and those that present a challenge and have not yet been mastered. 

  • Walking over rough terrain or in a crowded space requires close attention to the environment, looking ahead for potential hazards, adapting the direction and speed of walking to deal with changing circumstances and so on.

  • tripping and falling

    Children who trip and fall a lot  have often not yet mastered one or more of the following abilities needed for good dynamic balance: ability to look ahead and anticipate obstacles, the ability to react quickly to situations that throw one off balance, as well as the muscle strength needed to support the body when there are rapid changes in speed or direction of movement. 

  • Drawing and handwriting involves coordination of shoulder and elbow movements to move the hands across the page. Children with movement difficulties (low muscle tone, joint hypermobility, DCD, autism) often lack shoulder strength, flexibility and coordination needed for effective control of shoulder movements needed for drawing and handwriting. 

  • Planning a trajectory requires visual planning for locomotion includes judgment of: obstacles distance, size and height relative to body size as well as skill level,  gap size,  slope and surface properties. These judgments become more refined during early childhood.

  • Being able to stand on one leg is one of those skills  that children really value. If approached in a way that allows for success and a way to measure progress most children are willing to spend time practicing to improve their level of skill.

  • hypermobile child with poor standing posture

    Children with movement difficulties (joint hypermobility, low muscle tone, ASD and developmental coordination disorder often have weak core muscle strength and stability, and poorly developed postural response mechanisms. This affects their posture in sitting and standing, as well as their gross motor skills.