Coordination problems, sometimes referred to as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), affect a child’s ability to obtain and perform skilled movements. Children are generally predictable in the way they develop skilled movement. Clumsiness, tumbles and falls are a part of growing up as children develop and fine tune their movement ability. For some children, however, this clumsiness extends well past the usual time period into late childhood. Coordination problems affect around 6% of children. Many people refer to this as simple clumsiness, however coordination issues can be a precursor to other developmental delays.
- Lack of hand-to-eye coordination
- Slow to acquire physical skills and need to rely heavily on visual aids to help learn
- Uncoordinated running style
- Balance issues
- Awkward posture
- Slow response to their surroundings – e.g. slow response if a ball is kicked towards them
- Frequent tripping over or bumping in to things
- Lower athletic ability compared to peers
- Fine motor skill problems such as untidy writing, difficulty using scissors and tying their shoelaces
Children who have poor coordination often show a delayed attainment of gross and fine motor skills. These skills vary from running and catching balls to balancing and tying shoelaces. This is usually a hindrance when it comes to compulsory sport at school and even lunchtime play in the school yard. Many sufferers also experience speech difficulties, learning disabilities and reluctance to form friendships. For children with coordination problems their awkwardness interferes significantly with their daily activities. This not only causes physical suffering, but also mental and emotional distress from feeling (and perhaps being told) that they are different from their peers.
Children with coordination problems are often delayed in reaching milestones such as crawling and walking. Children with developmental coordination disorder are three times more likely to be overweight than other children their age. Encouraging physical activity is important to prevent obesity. The cause of coordination problems is largely unknown, however the disorder can be detected early on, with the first attempts to grasp and hold.
Chiropractic is useful in addressing coordination problems by targeting any mechanical issues that may restrict movement. The Chiropractors at Back to Basics Chiropractic can also provide specific exercises designed to enhance motor control. These physical exercises are an essential part of treatment for overcoming coordination problems and promoting normal physical development. Chiropractors can also assist in addressing any spinal or movement problems that may be related to coordination problems.
If you have any questions regarding this information, or need help with your particular condition, please contact Back to Basics® Chiropractic at the Kogarah, Parramatta or Bexley clinics. Our highly trained staff will be able to advise you on an appropriate course of action.
Nass R, Ross G. Developmental disabilities. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2012:chap 61.