Physiotherapists can
make a difference in
the lives of children
with Developmental Coordination Disorder

Child on bike

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common but under-recognized movement skill disorder that significantly affects children’s everyday functioning. This site will provide you with information and resources to provide evidence-based services to children who may have DCD.

Get to Know Max

Note: First time using this workshop?

You may visit the tutorial to become familiar with all the options available in the workshop. You can return to this screen again by closing the new window/tab that contains the tutorial. Proceed to tutorial.

More about Max

You see Max who is 9 years old for the first time today, for general motor delay. He struggles with ball games, has poor balance, and has not yet learned to ride his bicycle despite the fact that his parents have tried to teach him numerous time. His parents have consulted different health care professionals, but he doesn't have a diagnosis yet. As you observe him, you wonder whether Max might have DCD.

Max has recently withdrawn from his soccer team, because the other kids laughed at how poorly coordinated he was and he felt embarrassed. Although Max does not necessarily enjoy skipping, he has chosen ‘learn to skip’ as one of his goals because he wants to participate with his classmates in an upcoming school-wide skipping fundraiser. His parents are concerned about the amount of time he spends in sedentary activities, especially watching television and playing computer games. They are also worried that he spends much of his time alone, and that he has few close friends. You want to find meaningful therapy goals for Max and activities in which he can be successful.

Max feels different and is becoming less likely to try new things. In physical education, he disturbs his classmates and assumes the role of ‘class clown’ to avoid participating. Max’s mother comments that it is also a struggle to get dressed every morning, since Max can't button and tie his shoes independently. Max's parents and teachers don't know what to do to help him. You want to use evidence-based practice to support Max, his family, and his teachers but are unsure how best to help them.

Following your meeting with Max, you seek out resources to support physiotherapy best practices for children with DCD.

What is DCD?