Description of children identified by physicians as having developmental coordination disorder
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The aim of this study was to describe in detail a large group of children aged 4 to 12 years who were diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) by physicians following a rigorous multidisciplinary procedure. As part of a community-based DCD knowledge translation program, physicians received specialized training and were invited to identify children with probable DCD who were referred for further investigation to help confirm the diagnosis. Of 116 children (87 males, 29 females; age range 4y 1mo - 12y 11mo, mean age 8y) identified as having probable DCD by physician participants, 88 (76%) were subsequently diagnosed with DCD and 77.3% of these demonstrated a high degree of motor impairment. All children who were diagnosed experienced difficulties in self-care and/or academic or leisure activities. The male:female ratio was 3:1 and the incidence of preterm births among this sample was 12.5%. We conclude that, given the expense involved with ruling out differential diagnoses, it can be difficult to adhere rigorously to diagnostic criteria for DCD in clinical practice and research. This description of a group of children actually diagnosed with DCD helps to clarify the characteristics of these children as well as issues related to the refinement of diagnostic criteria.
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