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Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2001;20(2-3):51-68.

Treatment of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: what is the evidence?

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  • 1School of Occupational Therapy, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) experience significant difficulty performing everyday tasks and management of these children is a great source of debate. Because little is understood about the etiology of the disorder, treatment design has been driven by competing theories of motor development and motor skill acquisition. Traditional approaches to treatment have been based on neuromaturational, hierarchical theories and, consequently, therapies have focused on remeditating underlying deficits with the expectation of subsequent improvement in motor performance. Contemporary approaches, drawn from human movement science, propose that treatment methods be based on the assumption that skill acquisition emerges from the interaction of the child, the task and the environment. This paper provides a review of the treatment literature over the past 15 years, highlighting the fact that little evidence exists to suggest any one approach is better than another. Given current demands for evidence-based practice, and evolving concepts in skill acquisition, a movement toward interventions that are based on functional outcomes is recommended.

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