Enabling Occupation through Facilitating the Diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder
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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.
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