Causes of DCD

The process of learning, performing and coordinating a motor task is complex and breakdown can occur at many stages.

While we do not know for sure what is causing these difficulties, research has suggested that children with DCD may have a hard time:

Planning a motor task: Children with DCD may have difficulty understanding what type of action is required, such as how high you need to jump when skipping rope.

Organizing movements: Children with DCD might find it hard to think through the steps involved in a motor task in order to tell their muscles what to do next. For example, when approaching a set of stairs, children must first shift weight onto one leg before lifting the other and must reach out for the handrail at the same time — this requires organization!

Performing a coordinated action: Children with DCD might have difficulty knowing the timing and amount of force needed during a movement. For example, he/she might be late when reaching to catch a ball or use too much force when picking up a glass of milk.

Adjusting movements when demands change: Children with DCD have the most difficulty performing motor tasks when the environment keeps changing. For instance, when swinging to hit a ball in baseball, the speed and position of the ball is different with each pitch. A child with DCD will have a hard time responding to these changes.