New research on developmental co-ordination disorder

November 23, 2010
New research on developmental co-ordination disorder

New research has found children with developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) previously known as dyspraxia have an increased risk of difficulties in attention, reading, short-term memory and social skills.

The study The association between developmental coordination disorder and other development traits by academics at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Child and Adolescent Health is published in the current issue of Pediatrics.

Previous clinic-based samples have shown an overlap between developmental co-ordination disorder, ADHD, autism, and dyslexia. However, there has been limited population-based work on the association of DCD with other developmental traits that account for potential confounding factors.

Researchers from Bristol explored the association between DCD and attention, language, and academic ability in nearly 7,000 children aged between of seven and a half and nine years from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

The study found children with ‘probable’ DCD had a four-fold increased risk of significant reading difficulties and a two-fold increased risk of difficulties in attention, short-term memory, and social skills. The findings highlight the need for multidisciplinary assessment and intervention to tackle the complex difficulties faced by these children.

Dr Raghu Lingam, Lecturer in Community Child Health in the School of Social and Community Medicine, said: “Our research has shown that children with probable DCD have an increased risk of wide-ranging difficulties outside the motor domain. This has important clinical implications for the assessment and management of children with DCD, especially relating to their educational needs.

“These associations need to be explored in greater depth to understand their biological basis, the implications for intervention, and the long-term outcomes for with DCD.”

More information: Paper: The association between developmental coordination disorder and other development traits, Raghu Lingam, Jean Golding, Marian J Jongmans, Linda P Hunt, Matthew Ellis and Alan Emond. Pediatrics; Volume 126, Number 5, November 2010; originally published online Oct 18, 2010.

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