Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is the term used to describe a range of difficulties 6-8% of children experience with posture, movement and coordination, without there being a specific medical reason for these difficulties. These difficulties are severe enough to adversely affect their everyday function and school activities. The term dyspraxia is sometimes used as an alternative term for DCD.
The impact for each child will be different but common problems may include concentration difficulties, lack of confidence, language difficulties, clumsy motor skills, lack of strength and stamina, lax joints, hasty movements, lateralisation problems, social relationships and/or sensory problems.
For many children these problems can hinder their development and academic learning and become extremely frustrating leading to potential behavioural problems. As DCD is often a ‘hidden’ disability children may be labelled within their school environment and this compounds their problem.
At NICE we understand the importance of children learning how to control their movements, how to understand the world they live in, how to develop fine motor skills and how to begin the process of developing confidence, communication skills and general skills for accessing the school curriculum. Children are disadvantaged in school as much of their learning and assessment methods involve writing, typing and verbal expression and of course sitting still.
Children with DCD/dyspraxia are frequently very fast learners and have a high capability to develop skills required in later life. In order to support this we run 1 hour brain co-ordination groups where the children can take some time to focus on ‘how’ they move rather than just what they are doing.
Children who have attended these sessions have shown greater inclusion within their school environment, increased self-confidence and greater awareness of how to move more safely and with greater control.