Daily motor characteristics in children with developmental coordination disorder and in children with specific learning disorder

Dyslexia. 2018 Nov;24(4):380-390. doi: 10.1002/dys.1595. Epub 2018 Aug 9.


An association between learning disorders and coordination problems has been reported in several studies over the last few decades. In this study, we have investigated daily motor characteristics in children with a diagnosis of specific learning disorder (SLD) and compared them with those of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and those of typically developing controls. Ninety-six children aged 5 to 12 years were included: 29 with a diagnosis of SLD, 33 of DCD, and 34 controls. The Italian version of the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire 2007 (DCDQ-Italian) was used to measure children's coordination in everyday functional activities. The mean DCDQ-Italian total score was significantly lower in both SLD and DCD groups as compared with controls. Regarding subscores, both clinical groups scored significantly lower than controls on "Fine motor/handwriting" skills and on "General coordination." The DCD group scored also significantly lower than controls on "Control during movement." Moreover, clinical groups differed from each other, with SLD children scoring significantly higher on "Control during movement" and "General coordination" subscores. SLD children diverged from typically developing children in some motor skills during ordinary activities, and although this discrepancy was not as severe as in DCD children, it could have an impact on self-esteem and sport inclusion.

Keywords: Developmental Coordination Disorder; Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ); parent questionnaire; specific learning disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Handwriting
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders / complications
  • Motor Skills Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Specific Learning Disorder / complications
  • Specific Learning Disorder / physiopathology*