Parents of children with DCD will often notice difficulties at home, especially in self-care activities like eating.
Why is eating challenging?
Tone and posture: Low muscle tone can make it very difficult for children with DCD to sit still and they may fidget to hold themselves upright. Low tone will also result in a child leaning their arms on the table for balance. This makes it harder to use utensils and can result in spills if their wrists are floppy when they pick up a cup. Children with DCD may also ‘fix’ their joints during movements to become more stable. This can impact on their ability to turn knives over, push down on forks or bring spoons up to their mouths.
Body awareness: Children with DCD often lack awareness of where their body is in space. This can make it difficult, for instance, to know how wide to open their mouth.
Judging force and distance: It can be difficult to know how much pressure to use when cutting food and this may result in food flying off of the plate. Not judging the distance of a movement accurately might cause a child with DCD to reach too far for a drink and knock it over.
Both sides working together: Tasks requiring both sides working together, such as cutting with a fork and knife are very hard for a child with DCD.