UK DCD descriptor (2018)
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), also known as Dyspraxia in the UK, is a medical disorder affecting movement and coordination in children, young people and adults with serious symptoms present since childhood. DCD is distinct from other motor disorders such as cerebral palsy and stroke and occurs across the range of intellectual abilities. This lifelong condition is recognised by international organisations including the World Health Organisation. A person’s coordination difficulties affect their functioning of everyday skills and participation in education, work, and leisure activities. Difficulties may vary in their presentation and these may also change over time depending on environmental demands, life experience, and the support given. There may be difficulties learning new skills. The movement and coordination difficulties often persist in adulthood, although non-motor difficulties may become more prominent as expectations and demands change over time. A range of co-occurring difficulties can have a substantial adverse impact on life including mental and physical health, and difficulties with time management, planning, personal organisation, and social skills. With appropriate recognition, reasonable adjustments, support, and strategies in place people with DCD can be very successful in their lives.
The professional making the DSA assessment cannot make a diagnosis of DCD Dyspraxia but can review evidence and agree that referral to an occupational therapist may be useful. it is highly unlikely that professionals such as preschool staff, trained infant teachers and PE teachers will not have noted movement and coordination difficulties in the early and later years and this information will have been recorded in school and nursery reports. it is also highly unlikely that parents haven’t noted poor movement and coordination and discussed with the family GP. Consequently there will be a paper trail.
If a student has serious concerns about movement and coordination which have persisted since childhood then then prior to the assessment:
Read the description of DCD Dyspraxia above carefully and discuss with parents or other relatives.
Gather records from the GP and old school reports and any other hard copy evidence of a history of significant and serious difficulties with movement and coordination.
Print and complete The Adult DCD Checklist:
Bring your evidence to your assessment, the assessor will be able to score The Adult DCD Checklist and discuss.