Developmental Coordination Disorder
Developmental coordination disorder (DCD), which used to be called clumsy child syndrome, is a chronic neurological disorder that originates in childhood as the result of messages from the brain not being transmitted to the body. As many as half of all children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also have DCD.
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DCD has no cure, although many adults develop coping strategies to minimize its effects. Along with physical difficulties, DCD affects the person's working memory. Individuals have trouble remembering directions, organizing and frequently lose items. Occasionally, individuals with DCD become overwhelmed by sensory information and are prone to panic attacks.
Developmental Coordination Disorder and Fine Motor Control
DCD affects both gross and fine motor control. Areas of difficulty include:
- Poor timing
- Bad balance
- Difficulty in remembering sequences
- Problems with spatial awareness
- General clumsiness
Fine motor problems often make tasks such as tying shoes, cooking, brushing teeth and handwriting extremely difficult.
Diagnosis of DCD is often difficult, as the there is no single preferred assessment test. Generally, diagnosis is the result of developmental history and one or more screening tests undertaken after a baseline motor skills assessment. The actor Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) has been diagnosed with DCD.