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Melvin Ibana and Priscila Caçola

Handwriting is a core deficit in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Fifty children were tested with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition; Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Short Form; Evaluation Tool of Children's Handwriting (ETCH); McMaster Handwriting Assessment Protocol; and Beery-Buktenica Test of Visual–Motor Integration (Beery–VMI–6). The results showed significant differences in components of the ETCH between groups (p < .05) and significant relationships between handwriting (ETCH and Beery–VMI–6) and motor ability measures (r > .30). We conclude that the ETCH and the Beery–VMI–6 are sensitive measures of handwriting ability for children with probable DCD, but more research is needed to identify a gold-standard assessment for evaluating handwriting in this population.

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Deborah Hoare

Although the heterogeneity of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) has been well documented, the search for subtypes within the DCD population with distinguishable profiles has been limited. The present study investigated whether a group of 80 children identified as having DCD could be classified into subtypes based on their performances on six perceptuo-motor tasks. Five clusters were identified and are discussed in terms of current understanding of DCD. This exploratory study supports the notion of heterogeneity within DCD samples, with five patterns of dysfunction emerging.

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Chantelle Zimmer, Janice Causgrove Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt

Approximately 5–6% of school-age children are diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder (DCD; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013 ). They experience substantial and persistent difficulties in learning and performing coordinated motor skills starting in early childhood, which

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Carlo Di Brina, Roberto Averna, Paola Rampoldi, Serena Rossetti and Roberta Penge

as visual constructive and psychomotor coordination impairments, as a co-occurrence of a developmental coordination disorder (DCD; Jongmans, Smits-Engelsmann, & Schoemaker, 2003 ; Kaplan, Wilson, Dewey, & Crawford, 1998 ). The association of LD with a motor coordination impairment is quite common

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Nkechi Offor, Peace Ossom Williamson and Priscila Caçola

Purpose:

The purpose of this systematic literature review and meta-analysis is to identify the types of interventions in physical therapy contexts that have been explored in children with developmental coordination disorder, the most common variables being addressed, and whether these interventions are effective.

Method:

This systematic search of MEDLINE, PEDro, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, and Cochrane Library identified interventions in physical therapy contexts for children and adolescents with DCD, and studies were screened using these criteria and assessed using the PEDro and NIH quality assessment scales. AMSTAR was used to evaluate systematic reviews and a meta-analysis was conducted.

Results:

From the articles reviewed, 29 articles of moderate to good quality were included in the qualitative analysis. Task-oriented approaches as well as motor skill training–based interventions have shown beneficial effects in improving motor function in children with DCD. Data from 14 articles was extracted for inclusion in the meta-analysis, providing support for the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions against inaction.

Conclusion:

Researchers recommend the use of task-oriented and traditional physical therapy interventions for children with DCD. In addition, interventions in physical therapy contexts need clear goals and outcome measures for individual children.

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Sheila E. Henderson and Leslie Henderson

We consider three issues concerning unexpected difficulty in the acquisition of motor skills: terminology, diagnosis, and intervention. Our preference for the label Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) receives justification. Problems in diagnosis are discussed, especially in relation to the aetiology-dominated medical model. The high degree of overlap between DCD and other childhood disorders appears to militate against its acceptance as a distinct syndrome. In this context, we emphasize the need to determine whether incoordination takes different forms when it occurs alone is combined with general developmental delay or with other specific disorders in children of normal intelligence. Studies of intervention have mostly shown positive effects but do not, as yet, allow adjudication between different sorts of content. We suggest that the study of DCD and its remediation would benefit greatly from the employment of the simple but rich paradigms developed for the experimental analysis of fully formed adult movement skills.

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Mark A. Mon-Williams, Eve Pascal and John P. Wann

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) occurs in a small number of children who present with impaired body/eye coordination. No study of ophthalmic function in DCD exists despite vision’s primary role in perception. Ocular performance was therefore assessed with a battery of tests. Five hundred children aged between 5 and 7 years were involved in the study. Diagnosis of DCD was confirmed for 29 children by the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (ABC); 29 control children were randomly selected. Comprehensive examination with a battery of ophthalmic tests did not reveal any significant difference in visual status between the two groups. Strabismus was found in 5 children from both groups. All 5 children with strabismus from the DCD group showed a similar movement profile with the Motor Competence Checklist. While a causal relationship cannot be discounted, the presence of strabismus appears more likely to be a “hard” neurological sign of central damage common to this group. The evidence seems to indicate that a simple ophthalmic difficulty does not explain problems with movement control.

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Georgia D. Tsiotra, Alan M. Nevill, Andrew M. Lane and Yiannis Koutedakis

We investigated whether children with suspected Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD+) demonstrate different physical fitness levels compared with their normal peers (DCD). Randomly recruited Greek children (n = 177) were assessed for body mass index (BMI), flexibility (SR), vertical jump (VJ), hand strength (HS), 40m dash, aerobic power, and motor proficiency. ANCOVA revealed a motor proficiency (i.e., DCD group) effect for BMI (p < .01), VJ (p < .01), and 40m speed (p < .01), with DCD+ children demonstrating lower values than DCD. Differences between DCD+ and DCD were also obtained in log-transformed HS (p < .01). These findings suggest that intervention strategies for managing DCD should also aim at physical fitness increases.

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Frederik J.A. Deconinck, Dirk De Clercq, Rudy Van Coster, Ann Oostra, Griet Dewitte, Geert J.P. Savelsbergh, Dirk Cambier and Matthieu Lenoir

This study examined and compared the control of posture during bilateral stance in ten boys with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) of 6-8 years old and ten matched typically developing boys in four sensory conditions (with or without vision, on a firm or complaint surface). In all conditions mean postural sway velocity was larger for the boys with DCD, in spite of a normal score on the balance items of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children. A Group X Condition interaction revealed a larger dependency on vision in the boys with DCD when standing on a firm surface. These results suggest that in this specific subgroup of boys with DCD with predominantly problems in fine motor and ball skills postural control problems may still be prevalent and may possibly be associated with difficulties to re-weight sensory information in response to environmental demands.

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Sarah J. Woodruff, Connie Bothwell-Myers, Maureen Tingley and Wayne J. Albert

The purpose was to develop an index of walking performance and to examine gait pattern classifications of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The San Diego database (Sutherland, Olshen, Biden, & Wyatt, 1988) provided data for our calculation of the index and for determining that the index was able to differentiate between gait variables of older (ages 3 to 7) and younger (ages 1 to 2.5) children comprising the database. We obtained cinematographical data on 17 biomechanical markers of 6 boys and 1 girl, ages 6 to 7, with DCD, during walking. Analysis of individuals with DCD gait patterns revealed that most had abnormal walking patterns. The means of the time/distance gait variables did not differ between children with DCD and San Diego children, ages 3 to 7. Children with DCD had much larger variances than other children, indicating no systematic pattern in individual gait differences.