Are Some Approaches Better?
Some approaches are better to help generalization of skills and foster children's participation.
- Some interventions are better than others at helping children with DCD learn the skills they need for their lifetime.
- Children with DCD have difficulty learning new skills, show inconsistency in motor performance, and have difficulty generalizing their motor learning.
- Interventions that help children with DCD 'learn how to learn' are beneficial.
- Intervention should increase participation, foster well-being, and prevent secondary consequences.
Information & Intervention Strategies
- Children with DCD have motor-learning deficits. To help them learn and generalize new tasks, it is important to incorporate a focus on cognition, emphasizing strategy development and problem solving.
- The EACD Guidelines and the Movement Matters website provide more information on the best approaches for children with DCD.
The European Academy for Childhood Disability (EACD) released in 2011 guidelines of the identification and treatment of children with DCD. They are available at: http://www.eacd.org/publications.php
Movement Matters websiteA group from the UK adapted the EACD guidelines of the identification and treatment of children with DCD for the UK context. They are available at:http://www.movementmattersuk.org/dcd-dyspraxia-adhd-spld/uk-dcd-consensus.aspx
This website also contains information and resources about DCD.
Motor learning, and cognitive- and task-oriented interventions are the best approaches for children with DCD (see the following sections: task-oriented, motor learning, cognitive, other evidence-based principles, and application). The sequence of videos below illustrates how these approaches have been used to help Max once he has identified skipping as his goal.
Question for Reflection
What are the advantages of employing task-oriented, motor learning, and cognitive approaches over other approaches, that target underlying impairments?Click here for some thoughts on this question
What are the advantages of employing task-oriented, motor learning, and cognitive approaches over other approaches, that target underlying impairments?
Although children with DCD may demonstrate impairments in strength, balance, bilateral integration, muscle tone, sensory processing, etc., the evidence suggests that interventions targeting the remediation of these deficits, does not translate into improved activity performance or participation. Because DCD is a long lasting disorder, children need to 'learn to learn', to be able to generalize learning in their daily lives and approach new motor tasks with some effective strategies. Motor learning approaches thus have more potential to increase function and participation, which are the ultimate goals of interventions. More recent evidence supports the move to more of these so called “top-down” approaches.