Stefania Zoia, Michela Borean, Laura Blason, Marina Biancotto, Laura Bravar, Aldo Skabar, Marco Carrozzi

Developmental Coordination Disorder: clarifications for proper diagnosis

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Developmental coordination disorder, dyspraxia, poor handwriting, visuo-motor, comorbidity

The incidence of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is approximately 5-6% of the school population. This disorder is diagnosed when four criteria are present: - marked impairment in the performance of motor skills; - the marked impairment has a significant, negative impact on activities of daily living and/or academic abilities; - the disturbance is not due to a general medical condition and is not related to a Pervasive Developmental Disorder. In case of Mental Retardation, - the motor difficulties are greater of those usually associated to this condition. This disorder is heterogeneous and is often associated with other specific learning disabilities or developmental disorders. A multidisciplinary approach is advisable, in particular if school achievement and/or social skills are compromised. Correct diagnosis is needed to establish the severity of DCD and to exclude a medical cause. Furthermore, proper assessment requires the use of reliable and valid tests on the basis of which it is then possible to evaluate the necessity for treatment and to choose a suitable intervention. The main reasons for not neglecting DCD are dictated by the evidence that this disorder does not disappear with age, and that it can severely limit daily activities, with strong impact on social life and self-esteem. This article does not represent a sum review on this topic but intends to offer some clarifications on DCD and its diagnostic process, such as specialists to consult, assessment and general indication regarding rehabilitation programs.

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