Gelareh Ghafooripoor & Nikki Ryan

Participation of Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

Authors: Gelareh Ghafooripoor, Nikki Ryan, & Dr. Jill Zwicker

Introduction. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) participate less frequently and in less diverse activities compared to typically-developing children (Jarus et al., 2011). Participation restrictions have been attributed to poor motor skills, but no studies have examined the influence of the environment on participation of children with DCD. Objectives: This study examined participation in children with DCD at home, school and in the community, considering both personal and environmental factors. Methods. 81 parents of 4- to 12-year-old children with DCD (M=8.3, SD=2.1) completed the Participation and Environment Measure-Child and Youth (PEM-CY). The PEM-CY identifies personal and environmental factors that influence a child’s participation in home, community, and school settings. Descriptive analyses (means, SD) were derived for responses in each setting and compared to previously published data on typically-developing children. Results. Children with DCD participated less frequently than typically developing children in school and community settings and had less overall environmental support in all three settings. Conclusions. Children with DCD would benefit most from motor interventions with a focus on increasing participation and not the underlying motor deficits, as well as adaptations in the environment to support participation of children with DCD in home, school, and community settings.


Jarus, T., Lourie-Gelberg, Y., Enger-Yeger, B., & Bart, O. (2011). Participation patterns of school-aged children with and without DCD. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 1323-1331