Developmental coordination disorder involves problems with muscle movement. A child with this disorder has a hard time with things like riding a bike, holding a pencil, and throwing a ball. Children with this disorder are often called clumsy. Their movements are slow and awkward.
This disorder usually lasts into adulthood.
The exact cause of this disorder is not known. Children whose parents, brothers, or sisters have it may be more likely to have it. It is also more common in families with a history of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The disorder may be caused by changes in brain chemicals, damage to the pathways that link brain cells to certain muscle groups, or problems with nerve cells that control muscles. It is more likely in children who were premature or had a low birth weight.
It is more common in boys than in girls.
Symptoms in the first 2 years of life may include:
Symptoms may not be noticed until your child starts school. Symptoms between 5 and 11 years old may include:
Your child may also have a hard time doing things that involve moving muscles in sequence. For example, your child might be unable to do the following in order: open a closet door, get out a jacket, and put it on.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your child's symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Your provider may ask your child to clap his hands, hold a pencil, draw, or write.
Your healthcare provider will also check for physical problems such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
If the problem is mild and there is no other physical problem, your child may not need treatment. If the problem is severe, treatment may include: