Early Identification and Risk Management of Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the motor control issues, motor learning differences, and secondary impairments of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and to explore physical therapists' contribution to their early management. SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS: DCD is a condition involving limitations in gross motor, postural, and/or fine motor performance that is not attributable to other neurological disorders. Manifestation is varied across children and depends, in part, on their level of anticipatory motor control, response to specific task demands, and ability to attend to feedback to obtain flexible, adaptive movement solutions. Children with DCD rely primarily on vision for feedback, frequently use "fixing" strategies, and exhibit limited motor repertoires. As a result of their movement problems, they tend to avoid physical activity and are prone to secondary impairments, including decreased strength and power. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Physical therapists can 1) use their keen observational skills to identify children with DCD earlier in life and 2) use their knowledge of the secondary impairments and movement difficulties to work with families to engage children in continuous movement activities to maintain strength and power and thus obtain the physical, social, and psychosocial benefits of physical activity.
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