Brazilian Journal of Motor Behavior
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Infographic: Developmental Coordination Disorder (part I) characteristics, diagnosis,
and consequences
Institute of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Ceara (UFC), Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.
Department of Kinesiology, University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), Arlington, Texas, United States of America.
Correspondence to: Priscila Tamplain. Department of Kinesiology, University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), Arlington, Texas, United States of America.
DCD Developmental Coordination Disorder
Received 26 01 2023
Accepted 01 02 2023
Published 20 06 2023
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KEYWORDS: Developmental Coordination Disorder | Motor skills | Motor development | Characteristics |
Diagnosis | Consequences
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by motor coordination
difficulties that affect academic achievement and everyday activities
, and clearly outlined in the DSM-5
and ICD-10
. The prevalence of
children with DCD is 2-20%, with 5-6% being the most prevalent rate in the literature
. Common co-occurring disorders are attention-
deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, learning disabilities, and language impairments
. The goal of this
infographic is to provide an overview of the main characteristics of DCD, diagnosis, and consequences in children's lives.
The movements of children with DCD are often described as “clumsy” and “uncoordinated,” and frequently lead to performance
difficulties in activities of daily living and sports that typically developing children perform easily. Those general complications can be
observed when children with DCD attempt to plan a motor task, organize movements, perform a coordinated action, and adjust
movements when demands change, such as moving fast to catch a ball. More specifically, children with DCD may bump into, knock
things over, spill, have difficulty learning how to ride a bike, catch a ball, use a knife and fork, tie their shoes, cut with scissors, handwrite,
jump, and exhibit poor balance
The diagnosis of DCD requires the assessment of four criteria
. Criterion A: The acquisition and execution of coordinated motor
skills is substantially below that expected given the individual’s chronological age and opportunity for skill learning and use; Criterion B:
The motor skills deficit significantly and persistently interferes with activities of daily living appropriate to chronological age and affects
academic productivity, prevocational and vocational activities, leisure and play; Criterion C: onset of symptoms in the early developmental
period; and Criterion D: The motor skill deficits are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or
visual impairment and are not attributable to a neurologic condition affecting movement (e.g., cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy,
degenerative disorder).
Although the scientific literature on DCD has advanced in the last decades, there is still little knowledge and awareness by
health and educational professionals
. Children with DCD do not outgrow the disorder, and DCD impacts different domains, such as
physical (e.g., lower levels of physical fitness) and psychological (e.g., anxiety, depression, lower self-concept)
. The consequences of
DCD have been associated with reduced participation, especially in physical activity and social participation
. Not surprisingly, it is now
accepted that children with DCD have an increased risk for mental health difficulties.
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1. American Psychiatric Association, editors. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington: American Psychiatric
Association; 2013.
2. Center for Disease Control and prevention. International Classification of Diseases, 10th ed. (ICD-10). Available from:
3. Blank R, Barnett AL, Cairney J, Green D, Kirby A, Polatajko H, et al. International clinical practice recommendations on the definition, diagnosis,
assessment, intervention, and psychosocial aspects of developmental coordination disorder. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2019;61(3):242-85. doi:
4. Caçola P, Lage G. Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD): An overview of the condition and research evidence. Motriz: Rev Educ Fís.
2019;25(2):e101923. doi: 10.1590/S1980-6574201900020001.
5. Missiuna C, Ont OR. Children with developmental coordination disorder: At home and in the classroom. CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability
Research; 1999.
Citation:!Ferracioli-Gama MC, Tamplain P. (2023).!Infographic: Developmental Coordination Disorder (part I) characteristics, diagnosis, and consequences. Brazilian
Journal of Motor Behavior, 17(4):73-74.
Editor-in-chief: Dr Fabio Augusto Barbieri - São Paulo State University (UNESP), Bauru, SP, Brazil. !
Associate editors: Dr José Angelo Barela - São Paulo State University (UNESP), Rio Claro, SP, Brazil; Dr Natalia Madalena Rinaldi - Federal University of Espírito Santo
(UFES), Vitória, ES, Brazil; Dr Renato de Moraes University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.
Section editor (Infographic): Dr Renato de Moraes University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.
Copyright:© 2023 Tamplain and Ferracioli-Gama and BJMB. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non
Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source
are credited.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.