Highland Developmental Co-ordination
Disorder Group

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HDCD Guidance Notes - HDCD Explained

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Developmental Co-ordination Disorder

What is DCD – It is an impairment, an immaturity, or disorganisation of movement. Associated with this there may be problems with language, eye movements, perception, thought, specific learning difficulty, personality and behaviour, and variability.

Other Names – Clumsy Child Syndrome, Perseptuo-motor Dysfunction, Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Motor-learning Difficulty, Sensory-integrative Dysfunction, Spatial Problems, Visuo-motor Difficulties or more specifically Dysparaxia or Dyslexia.

Movement – Gross and fine motor skills are unintelligible in early years. Language may be impaired or late to develop.

Eye Movements – There may be difficulty with controlling movements of the eyes to follow a moving object or difficulty looking quickly and effectively from object to object. This may effect eye/hand coordination.

Perception – There is poor registration and interpretation of the messages that the senses convey, and difficulty in translating those messages into appropriate actions.

Thought – The child may have normal intelligence, but have great difficulty in planning and organising thoughts. Those with moderate learning difficulties may have these problems to a greater extent.

Specific Learning Difficulty – There may be problems with reading; writing; spelling; reversals e.g. formation of numbers/letters, or reverses order of letters in words; numbers e.g. rote learning.

Personality and Behaviour – They may display behaviour problems, e.g. restless and lacking controls, and/or unhappiness, loneliness, poor self-esteem, lack of confidence, or behaviour problems due to frustration. Secondary emotional problems may develop.

Variability – Children have “good days and bad days” where they can do things better than at other times.

If you think your child is excessively clumsy, discuss it!

Where do I go for help?

Pre-School – Talk to your GP and Health Visitor. A referral should be made to a community paediatrician at the Child Health Dept. Assessment can then be made by an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, a speech and language therapist or a psychologist, whichever is deemed appropriate.

School Age Children – Talk to your GP, school nurse or school doctor (community paediatrician). Referrals for assessment can be made through your GP or school medical officer. Hospital referral may be required for special tests or treatment.

How would I recognise a child with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder?

The Pre-school Child may show some of these features:

The School Age Child

What about the future?

There is no magic “cure”, though the child may improve in some areas with growing maturity and with access to the appropriate therapy to develop skills.Some children respond more completely to treatment than others. Learning will take time and lots of practice and encouragement will be needed. Success leads to success; children work best when they do well.

Parents will find it helpful to talk to others.

What is the Highland Developmental Co-ordination Disorder Group?

The group is a registered charity.

The objectives of Highland Developmental Co-ordination Disorder Group are:

The Highland Developmental Co-ordination Disorder Group:

For further information please contact:

Tel: 07708 410072

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