A staged approach for identifying children with developmental coordination disorder from the population
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The purpose of this study was to describe the motor, attention and intellectual characteristics of a population-based sample of children first screened for motor impairment and to discuss the recruitment and identification methods employed. A two stage cross-sectional, school-based survey was conducted to screen for children with motor coordination difficulties and to identify children with an existing diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder (ADHD/ADD). The identified children, and a random sample of typically developing children, were assessed to confirm or rule out the presence of developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Six thousand four hundred and seventy five children were invited to participate; 2943 children, with parental consent, completed the initial screening process. Two hundred eighty four children with possible motor impairment were identified. The parents of 113 children consented to a full assessment. Sixty eight children of the 113 children met diagnostic criteria for DCD, and 26 also had ADHD. Twenty eight of the 55 children who screened in with a diagnosis of ADHD were subsequently found to have DCD. The total number of children with confirmed characteristics of DCD was reduced after application of DCD diagnostic criteria. This study differs from others with regard to the additional screening for children with ADHD/ADD. The second stage assessment notably increased the number of children identified with both ADHD and DCD.
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