Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is defined as an impairment in the development of motor coordination that interferes with academic achievement or activities of daily living (DSM-IV). DCD has been reported to affect 5% to 9% of children in the normal population. This study describes the prevalence of DCD in a cohort of extremely low birth weight children (ELBW, < or = l800 g) at 8.9 years of age, from which were excluded children with major impairments. Seventy-three children were included in the study group, along with 18 term-born, socially matched controls. Of the 73 ELBW children, 37 (51%) were classified as having DCD. ELBW children with DCD also had significantly lower Performance IQ (PIQ) scores and were more likely (43%) to have a learning difficulty in arithmetic than ELBW children who did not have DCD. This study found that DCD is a common problem in school-aged ELBW children.