Developmental Coordination Disorder: biomechanical and neuromuscular considerations: Jill Whitall and Jane Clark
Running, jumping, kicking and throwing are the hallmarks of childhood. Typically developing children engage in these gross motor activities early in their lives and many go on to acquire the complex motor skills required for sports and dance that are rooted in these early behaviours. However, there is a small portion of children for whom the coordination and control required for these gross motor activities is nearly impossible to achieve. For decades, these children were labelled ‘clumsy’, but today many of these children are diagnosed as having Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). While some children with DCD will have difficulties only with fine motor (primarily handwriting) skills, the vast majority will also have motor difficulties in locomotor and postural tasks. In this chapter, we examine the biomechanical and neuromuscular aspects of motor skill development in children with DCD. We also refer the reader to Chapter 2, which includes a discussion of this disorder relative specifically to sensorimotor integration and development.