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Symptoms

Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) can cause a wide range of problems. Some of these may be noticeable at an early age, while others may only become obvious as your child gets older.

Problems in infants

Delays in reaching normal developmental milestones can be an early sign of DCD in young children. For example, your child may take slightly longer than expected to roll over, sit, crawl or walk.

You may also notice that your child:

These signs might come and go.

Problems in older children

As your child gets older, they may develop more noticeable physical difficulties, plus problems in other areas.

Movement and co-ordination problems

Problems with movement and co-ordination are the main symptoms of DCD.

Children may have difficulty with:

A child with DCD may appear awkward and clumsy as they may bump into objects, drop things and fall over a lot.

But this in itself isn't necessarily a sign of DCD, as many children who appear clumsy actually have all the normal movement (motor) skills for their age.

Some children with DCD may also become less fit than other children as their poor performance in sport may result in them being reluctant to exercise.

Additional problems

As well as difficulties related to movement and co-ordination, children with DCD can also have other problems such as:

Although children with DCD may have poor co-ordination and some additional problems, other aspects of development – for example, thinking and talking – are usually unaffected.

Related conditions

Children with DCD may also have other conditions, such as:

Some children with DCD have difficulty co-ordinating the movements required to produce clear speech.