Intervention in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: the role of parents and teachers

Br J Educ Psychol. 2003 Dec;73(Pt 4):545-61. doi: 10.1348/000709903322591235.


Background: Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are a heterogeneous group who have a marked impairment in the performance of functional skills. Provision for these children is usually made via a paediatrician through occupational or physiotherapy though, with a prevalence rate of 5%, regular provision is not possible due to limited professional resources.

Aims: The study aimed to determine the extent to which parents and teachers, with guidance, can assist in the management of children with DCD; whether children with DCD are helped in this way and how this may contribute to our understanding of the condition.

Sample: Thirty-one children with DCD aged 7 to 9 years participated in the study.

Methods: Following assessment, individual profiles were developed and each week teachers and parents were given guidelines for working with the children and each child had three to four sessions a week lasting approximately for 20 minutes. In Phase 1, one group of children worked with teachers and the other group worked with parents. In Phase 2, the two groups of children swapped over. The children were assessed regularly throughout the project using the Movement ABC, together with diaries and comments from teachers and parents.

Results: At the end of the 40-week study, 27 children showed significant improvement in their motor skills.

Conclusions: Both teachers and parents were able to provide effective intervention for the majority of the children. It is possible that the children who did not improve have difficulties that are of a more complex type which require more specialist therapy to meet their need.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Faculty*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders / therapy*
  • Parents*
  • Role*