Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) in Children

 What are they?

These are delays in a child’s motor skills or a difficulty in a child’s ability to coordinate movements as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body.   

What are the key traits of DCD?

  • Affects 5-8% of school aged children to perform everyday tasks
  • Often occurs with a learning disability, ADHD, Speech and Language Disorder, and behavioral problems
  • Can persists through adulthood

What are the common characteristics / symptoms of DCD?


  • Can be “clumsy” or have poor balance (e.g. bumps into things or knocks things over)
  • Can have difficulty learning new motor skills (e.g. kicking / throwing ball)
  • More difficulty with motor activities that require constant change (e.g. jumping rope, playing baseball)
  • More difficulty with motor activities that require the use of both sides of the body (e.g. using scissors, hitting ball, jumping jacks)
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Difficulty self-care skills (e.g. dressing, using utensils)
  • Difficulty sitting still or having good posture

Emotional and Behavioral:

  • Tends to avoid motor based activities or has low frustration tolerance
  • Tend to avoid socializing
  • Dissatisfaction with their work or self-conscious
  • Lack of confidence
  • Resistant to change in routine

How can our team of Occupational Therapists help?

  • Creating a plan of care to teach motor skills 1:1 to the child providing adaptions when needed
  • Improve body awareness and how to notice visuals cues each motor tasks provides
  • Teaching child how to adapt their movement from the feedback that their body provides them in motor tasks
  • Improve body awareness through multi-sensory activities in our sensory motor gyms
  • Teach compensation and coping strategies


To speak to an Occupational Therapist about your child call 619-692-0622 today.

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