Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Developmental Coordination Disorder – Heard Of It?

A new study has shown that children that may have been diagnosed with ADHD or other familiar disorders may in fact be suffering from developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

ADHD can often be diagnosed when children have trouble with routine tasks such as getting dressed, playing certain types of games, drawing or even using a computer but in fact they could be suffering from DCD. The study undertaken by Professor Sara Rosenblum identified that in quite a few cases the diagnosis does not occur early enough and is incorrect. This can result in frustration and a sense of disability that leads to a decline that requires psychological therapy.

DCD can be expressed through the “inability to control a process of carrying out a particular motor task, consolidate it in memory and repeat automatically”. Examples of this may include tying laces, riding a bicycle, closing buttons, and so on. Where most people do these things automatically, people with DCD will find them difficult to do. As adults, they may have trouble doing things such as estimating distance and speed, making it difficult to learn to drive or ride a bicycle.

It can be quite embarrassing for children if they can’t do simple routine things. It is even worse for adults who often have to find ways to cover up their lack of skill.

A simple and non-invasive test of writing tasks has been developed to identify DCD in children. Children with DCD have no physiological or intellectual deformities, and in many cases, they have above average intelligence. As they are not able to complete tasks that require coordination between motor, sensory and cognitive functions, the use of occupational therapy provides the necessary treatment and guidance to assist them.

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