Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Learn more about developmental coordination disorder (DCD), a neurological condition that affects children's ability to coordinate movements and perform everyday tasks. Get to know its symptoms, causes, and treatment options to improve quality of life.

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Definition of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a lifelong neurological condition which affects a person's motor and coordination skills in performing daily tasks. This condition impacts children during their early years of development and is commonly referred to as dyspraxia. 

It is said that almost 5 to 6% of school-aged children have DCD. Kids under this condition may experience difficulties with gross motor skills, such as running and jumping, and fine motor skills, such as writing and tying shoelaces. What’s heartbreaking is these difficulties can impact academic performance, socialization, and self-esteem.

Fortunately, there are already a variety of programs being offered today to help children with DCD  improve their overall coordination and motor skills. Serin Center is among the proud clinics in Arizona offering personalized and effective treatment options. Our team of highly skilled and fully licensed developmental psychologists in both our clinics in Peoria, AZ, and Scottsdale, AZ are more than happy to work out a program that is most suited to your child and loved ones.

What Are the Symptoms of DCD?

Dyspraxia or DCD can manifest in a variety of ways. In fact, some of the symptoms children may exhibit during the early stages of their development, but there are also cases in which the symptoms will only show up as they mature.

Some of the most common signs of DCD include:

With infants:

  • Struggle in learning to eat with cutlery
  • Display of unusual body posture towards reaching their 1st year
  • Difficulty in playing with toys that require coordination (e.g. stacking bricks, matching shapes)

With toddlers:

  • Their movements are more awkward and clumsy
  • They have a hard time making friends with others
  • They usually have a hard time following instructions
  • They are slower in learning or picking up new skills
  • They have difficulty in activities which require concentration
  • They find it challenging to do activities that require timing and organization
  • They get easily distracted and struggle to focus on one thing in a span of minutes
  • They tend to have low self-esteem due to their frustration of not being able to do things
  • They often struggle to organize and prepare things on their own and would require help from

What Are the Common Causes of DCD?

The exact cause of DCD is still unknown, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of which include the following:

  • Abnormal brain development or injury to the brain
  • Abnormalities due to the mother's drug and alcohol abuse
  • Infants born with low birth weight may also cause the development of DCD
  • Premature birth in which the infant was born before the 37th week of pregnancy
  • Genetics, if within your family, there has been a history of someone suffering from the same condition

How to Treat DCD?

There is no cure for DCD, but there are several treatment options that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment options may include:

  1. Occupational Therapy:

    • Occupational therapists can help children develop the skills needed to perform everyday tasks, such as brushing teeth, tying shoelaces, and writing.
  2. Physical Therapy:

    • Physical therapists can help children improve their gross motor skills, such as running and jumping.
  3. Speech Therapy:

    • Speech therapists can help children with speech and language difficulties that may be associated with DCD.
  4. Behavioral Therapy:

    • Behavioral therapists can help children improve their socialization and self-esteem by providing support and encouragement.
  5. Medications:

    • There are no medications specifically for DCD, but medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms associated with other conditions that may occur alongside DCD, such as ADHD.

Living with DCD can be challenging, but early diagnosis and intervention can help children manage symptoms and lead successful lives. Parents and caregivers can also play an important role in supporting children with DCD by providing a safe and supportive environment, setting realistic expectations, and encouraging their child's strengths and interests.

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Serin Center has been providing personalized and innovative treatment programs to help people suffering from mental and psychological disorders get better. Our neurohealth center has been the most trusted clinic in the field.

Contact us today to get in touch with a highly skilled developmental psychologist in Peoria and Scottsdale, AZ.