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Dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder? Unravelling the enigma

Abstract

Dyspraxia is an enigma to many people, both professional and lay alike—what is it, how does it relate to developmental coordination disorder and associated conditions, how common is it, how is it recognised and diagnosed and how should it be managed? This article attempts to unravel this enigma by: dealing with the terminology of coordination difficulties from the “clumsy child syndrome” through “dyspraxia” to “developmental coordination disorder (DCD)”; briefly examining the debate as to whether dyspraxia or DCD should be regarded as a medical or social disorder; discussing the differential diagnosis of dyspraxia or DCD; considering the assessment of children with dyspraxia or DCD; reviewing the range of current treatment approaches in the UK.

  • DAMP, disorder of attention and motor perception
  • DCD, developmental coordination disorder
  • MBD, minimal brain dysfunction

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    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health