Investigating the impact of developmental coordination difficulties across home, school, and community settings: Findings from the Australian Impact for DCD survey

Jess E. Reynolds, Gail A. Alvares, Jacqueline Williams, Elspeth Froude, Catherine Elliott, Sarah McIntyre, Andrew J.O. Whitehouse, Kiah L. Evans, Siobhan L. Reid, John Cairney, Melissa K. Licari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the participation difficulties experienced by children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) in home, school, and community environments. Methods: The Impact for DCD survey was completed by primary caregivers of 4–18-year-old children with DCD (or synonymous diagnosis) (n = 429). Outcomes and results: The greatest participation difficulties experienced at home included dressing, eating with utensils, self-care tasks and drawing/writing reported by over 70% of families. At school, fine motor difficulties were also frequently reported, with additional difficulties keeping up or completing tasks, and not feeling supported at school. Socialisation challenges and bullying were also commonly reported (34.9%). As a result of participation difficulties at school, 5.4% were home schooled. Many children engaged in community activity, with 72.0% currently engaged in at least one organised sports-based activity. Conclusions and implications: Increased recognition of the widespread impact of DCD in a child's life is crucial at an individual and societal level. Parents reported their children experiencing significant participation restrictions and difficulties. The findings of this large-scale study have revealed that most children with DCD are not receiving the support they need to thrive, especially at school. This largely reflects a lack of understanding and recognition of the condition and its associated challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104712
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume147
Early online date11 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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