Developmental Coordination Disorder In Children and Adolescents

ICD-10 Code: F82

Developmental coordination disorder is part of a cluster of diagnoses called the motor disorders.  Motor disorders are a group of psychiatric conditions that include:

  • Developmental coordination disorder
  • Stereotypic movement disorder
  • Tic Disorders

Motor disorders are a group of psychiatric conditions that affect the ability to produce and control bodily movements.

Motor disorders may involve developmental delays and deficits involving fine and gross motor functions. Developmental coordination disorder is characterized by deficits in the acquisition and execution of coordinated motor skills and is manifested by clumsiness and slowness or inaccuracy of performance of motor skills that cause interference with daily living. Stereotypic movement disorder includes patterns of repetitive and seemingly driven yet purposeless motor behaviors. Examples of such behaviors include movements of the head, body, and hands that are developmentally abnormal. Tic disorders involve sudden, rapid and recurrent, non-rhythmic motor movements or vocalizations. Such motoric or vocal manifestations are observably involuntary.

What is developmental coordination disorder?

Developmental coordination disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 5-6% of children between the ages of 5-11.  The disorder can occur in both males and females, but it is significantly more common in males.  The core symptom of developmental coordination disorder is the acquisition and execution of coordinated motor skills being substantially below the child’s chronological age and opportunity for skill learning and use.

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Understanding Developmental Coordination Disorder

Children with developmental coordination disorder experience significant interference in their daily lives from their motor coordination difficulties. Of note, independent self-care presents a challenge in that they have difficulty with dressing, tying shoelaces, and toileting. The child may appear to be uninterested, in particular physical activities in an attempt to avoid participating in motor tasks.

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How is developmental coordination disorder treated?

Developmental coordination disorder is treatable. Published treatment guidelines for developmental coordination disorder include those from the German-Swiss Interdisciplinary Clinical Practice Guide.

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