Enabling Occupation through Facilitating the Diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background. The largest proportion of children seen within school-based occupational therapy is referred for handwriting difficulties. Many of these children have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), a disorder that often goes undiagnosed, making if difficult for children, parents, and teachers to access resources.Purpose. The purpose of this article is to outline the important role of occupational therapists in recognizing and facilitating the diagnosis of DCD.Key Issues. In this paper, a case is made for an expansion of the role of school-based occupational therapists in facilitating diagnosis for children with DCD. Through a review of the literature, we establish the importance of a diagnosis for children and families and critically reflect on issues that may make therapists reluctant to become involved in facilitating this diagnosis.Implications. Occupational therapists working in schools are able to recognize children with DCD, an important first step in accessing key resources useful to improve occupational performance and quality of life.


  • Missiuna, Cheryl
  • Pollock, Nancy
  • Egan, Mary
  • DeLaat, Denise
  • Gaines, Robin
  • Soucie, Helen

publication date

  • February 2008