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Child with Developmental Coordination Disorder –DCD

The wealth of information, articles and studies found on the CanChild Website illustrate the necessity for children with DCD or similar disorders to find early recognition.  The website describes DCD as:  “a prevalent yet under-recognized movement skill disorder that significantly affects everyday functioning”. http://dcd.canchild.ca/en/?_mid_=3276

Although 5 or 6 percent of all children suffer from this disorder, there is no known cure and early recognition is not prevalent.  What is understood however is that:

  • There is no known cause and no known cure, but only management and strategic measures advised
  • The disorder continues into adolescence and adult life
  • The disorder frequently occurs together with learning disabilities, speech disorders or ADHD.

Again, this is a situation that the child simply cannot “grow out of” by him or herself.

Conventional early intervention methods provide but management and strategic measures and not an actual cure or overcoming of the disorder.

In the article “They’re Bright but Can’t Write: Developmental Coordination Disorder in school aged children” http://canchild.ca/en/ourresearch/resources/TEC_DCD.pdf  we can read about typical suggestions such as:

  • Modify the task (simplify things)
  • Alter your expectations
  • Teach strategies
  • Change the environment

Such measures may help the child to cope with the problem and help to diminish secondary social and emotional difficulties arising, but do not address the core difficulty.

The ABR Assessments show that children in the above described group reveal consistent underlying deficiencies in:

  • Basic weight bearing
  • Counter balancing
  • Coordination
  • Postural integration

The background cause of these more functionally related disturbances is to be found in weaknesses in the underlying bodily structure.  These children show equally consistent

  • Hyper mobility in the limbs, i.e. arms and legs
  • Stiffness or lacking mobility in the vertebral column – including head/neck connections in all three planes of movement.

It is these manifestations of joint weaknesses that together with deficient core stability translate into a poor general developmental process.

Parents are encouraged to understand the following:  The motor and proprioception development is the basis for all future development.  It is the foundation upon which the child builds further motor skills, social skills, learning and cognitive abilities.

If this foundation is weak, deficient or failing, then all attempts to try and help the child to achieve further developmentary steps can be compared to trying to build a ten story house on the beach without taking the time to build a sufficiently deep and sturdy foundation.  One could build the house and then notice that it begins to wobble.  Because the insufficient foundation is not visible, one might even try to prop up the house using buttresses and other means of support – ignoring the underlying causes.

But behind the weaknesses in soft tissue structures such as the joints, there lies a generalized weakness and underdevelopment of the bodies system of connective tissues and fascia.  The bodily structures do not provide the child with the necessary stability and mobility for achieving the normal motor skill mile stone development.  Weak bodily structures supply the central nervous system with insufficient and inadequate information regarding:

  • Orientation in space
  • Speed and strength of movements performed
  • Counter balancing
  • Basic bodily positioning

Thus the establishment of the proprioceptive sense or “body map” is disrupted.

Disintegration and lack of development of the basic body map can be compared to the house above without any foundation.

At all ages but especially in childhood the human being possesses a high degree of plasticity.  Structural remodeling of the soft tissue system through consistent ABR work provides these children with the basis and foundation for the hierarchy of improvements beginning with:

  • Improved sensory integration and awareness
  • Motor skills
  • Concentration and interest
  • Social and behavioral skills
  • Cognitive development

In regarding the growing prevalence of DCD and related disorders it can be hoped for that parents can be made aware of the possibilities arising through early recognition through the ABR Assessment and early treatment with the ABR Method.

ABR Denmark’s Team is also qualified to assist the parents with many further effective educational tools for promoting the development of these children.