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Does my child have DCD?



What is DCD?


In the UK, the term DCD is often used interchangeably with 'dyspraxia' - DCD is defined as:

  • ​Poor performance in daily activities that require motor coordination, which is considerably below that expected for the child's age and intelligence. It significantly interferes with the child's daily activities or academic achievements.
  • DCD is not caused by medical conditions such as cereal palsy, hemiplegia or muscular dystrophy.


What is Dyspraxia?


As well as having co-ordinatoin difficulties, children with dyspraxia will have problems working out and planning how to do a physical task. They will often rely on an adult or another child to show them what to do:


  • Not all people with DCD have Dyspraxia


How does DCD affect a child?


A child with DCD is often thought to be awkward, clumsy or even stupid - when is not the case. They may experience:


  • Problems with executive functioning - organisational skills and time management
  • Poor academic performance
  • Difficulty in socialising with peers
  • Frustration and low self esteem
  • Poor behaviour both at home and school
What are gross motor skills?


These are being able to co-ordinate your arms and legs which includes posture and balance. Children with poor gross motor skills can have problems with riding a bike, catching or throwing a ball, hopping or skipping, tripping and falling over, bumping into things and knocking things over.


What are fine motor skills?


These refer to hand skills and manual dexterity. Children with poor fine motor skills can have difficulties with using a pencil for drawing or writing, cutting with scissors, using a knife and fork, doing up buttons and zips when dressing or tying shoe laces.


What next?


Firstly, don't panic! Come and chat to the school and we can give you strategies to use both at home and in everyday situations to support your super hero with their needs. Most of the above can be helped with a variety of physical strategies, which will help develop their skills.