Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is characterized by motor impairments that interfere with a child’s activities of daily living and academic achievement.
In earlier literature it has been variously referred to as "clumsy child syndrome", "motor-perception dysfunction", "minor neurological dysfunction" or "minimal brain dysfunction". The prevalence of DCD in the population of school age children is estimated to be approximately 6–10%.
Some children lack the motor skills required for everyday activities such as play, sports, and schoolwork. Motor clumsiness is also correlated with cognitive and perceptual problems. In addition, DCD is associated with the co-occurrence of attention deficits as well as with learning and psychosocial adjustment difficulties among school age children.
Danny (pseudonym) is a seven-year-old child. He was diagnosed by a pediatrician as having DCD. His father describes what it is like for Danny and his family to cope with the day-to-day consequences of his son's disorder:
"We need to tell him (Danny) to wake up and to get dressed. He hates to shower and every shower requires an argument. If, for example, he decides to make himself a glass of chocolate milk, everything around him gets dirty. Parenting him is very demanding; he drains his mother at the expense of the family's time. I struggled to teach him to ride a bicycle. Yet when I and his brothers go bicycle riding, he prefers to stay at home. When Danny and his friend play together, he takes short cuts. He is sure that he plays well, but I see that he is clumsy, slow, and does not make an effort. If we comment to him about it, he immediately gets insulted and stops trying."
Society and culture determine children's experience with motor activities, so that motor performance in different environments reflects a variety of demands and expectations.
Although the definition of the disability was established in 1994 (DSM-IV–APA, 1994), there is still ongoing discussion in the literature about the characteristics of children with DCD, as well as the appropriate tools for the evaluation DCD as based on this definition. There is still no “gold” standard that can be used to identify the condition or the exact processing mechanisms that give rise to the motor control difficulties in these children. Hence studies in occupational therapy are currently focused on developing appropriate screening/evaluation tools, as well as on developing a better understanding of the unique characteristics of children and adults with DCD.
Rosenblum, S., & Engel-Yeger, B. (2015). Hypo-activity screening in school setting; Examining Reliability and Validity of the Teacher Estimation of Activity Form (TEAF). Occupational Therapy International, 22 (2), 85-93. doi:10.1002/oti.1387 [I.F. 0.667, R55/69 Q4 Rehabilitation]. Abstract
Rosenblum, S. (2015). Do Motor Ability and Handwriting Kinematic Measures Predict Organizational Ability among Children with Developmental Coordination Disorders? Human Movement Science, 43, 201-215. Abstract
Rosenblum, S., & Engel-Yeger, B. (2014). Predicting participation of children with DCD. Current Developmental Disorders Reports, 1, 109-117. Abstract
Rosenblum, S. (2013). Handwriting measures as reflectors of Executive Functions among adults with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD). Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 357-367. Abstract
Rosenblum, S., Aassy Margieh, J., & Engel-Yeger, B. (2013). Handwriting features of children with developmental coordination disorder–Results of triangular evaluation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 4134-4141. Abstract
Rosenblum, S., & Regev, N. (2013). Timing abilities among children with developmental coordination disorders (DCD) in comparison to children with typical development. Research in developmental disabilities, 34(1), 218-227. Abstract
Engel-Yeger, B., & Rosenblum, S. (2012). Can gymnastic teacher predict leisure activity preference among children with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD)? Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1006-1013. Abstract
Engel-Yeger, B., Rosenblum, S., & Josman, N. (2010). Movement Assessment Battery for children (M-ABC): Establishing construct validity for Israeli children. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31, 87-96. Abstract
Kirby, A., Edwards, L., Sugden, D., & Rosenblum, S. (2010). The development and standardization of the Adult Developmental Co-ordination Disorders/Dyspraxia Checklist (ADC). Research in Developmental Disabilities, 31, 131-139. Abstract
Josman, N.,Goffer, A., & Rosenblum, S. (2010). How do you 'Do-Eat'? - Activity of daily living performance among children with Developmental Coordination Disorders. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 47-58.
Rosenblum, S. & Miri Livneh-Zirinsky. (2008). Handwriting process and product characteristics of children diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder, Human Movement Science, 27, 200-214 Special issue about Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD). Abstract
Rosenblum, S. (2006). The development and standardization of the Children Activity Scales (ChAS-P/T) for the early identification of children with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD). Child Care Health and Development, 32, 6, 619-632, Special issue about DCD. Abstract
Rosenblum, S., Argaman, Y., Mendelson, N., & Pais-Aviram E. (2005). A comparison of visuomotor function between children suspected of having DCD to that of typical children. The Israel Journal of Occupational Therapy, 14 (4), H213- H231. (In Hebrew). Editor of a Special Issue on Developmental Coordination Disorders
Josman, N., Goffer, A., & Rosenblum, S. (2010). Development and standardization of the "DO-Eat" Activity of Daily Living Performance test for children. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 47-58.