Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) have a motor impairment that affects their ability to perform everyday tasks. Although severity of motor impairment can be measured, methods for assessing the perceived impact of DCD on daily activities have not been established. The purpose of this study was to use a child-focused approach to understand children's views of the impact of DCD on the activities that they perform daily.
Children aged 5–10 years, referred with coordination difficulties to occupational therapists, were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children: children who received scores below the 15th percentile were included. The Perceived Efficacy and Goal Setting System (PEGS), a pictorial scale validated as a method for engaging children with disabilities, was administered to examine the children's perceptions of their competence in performing everyday activities and to identify goals for therapy. Parent and teacher concerns were collected by a questionnaire.
The children, parents and teachers shared many concerns about the impact of DCD on physical tasks and on academic activities such as handwriting. The children expressed additional concerns, however, about their ability to perform daily self-care tasks and leisure activities, which were rarely recognised by the adults. Children require specialised methods to enable them to express their views and the PEGS appears to be suitable for this purpose.