Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Written by: Anna Gray, Physical Therapist

Physical therapists at The Boston Ability Center use the latest research to guide our treatment plans of all diagnoses and conditions.

Some of kids that we see at the BAC are often described by their parents as “uncoordinated”, “clumsy”, “awkward-moving”, and occasionally will have the accompanying diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). DCD can persist throughout adolescence into adulthood, however a recent article¹, showed how therapist directed strength training can make “improvements in participation by self-assessment” and “performance improvement on both activity and impairment measures post-intervention”.


As physical therapists, we are often observing how a child moves and trying to assist them in developing safe, efficient and effective movements. According to the study it was noted that there was, “Decreased cocontraction and associated movements, as well as increased ability to coordinate muscle groups, stabilize, and activate isolated muscle activity was observed during intervention testing”, possibly allowing for increased efficiency and safety of each movement for the child’s body. This broken-down teaching process of strength training, allows the child to access this in the future and decrease the use of compensations to perform movements.


If you notice that your child is experiencing any difficulty with coordination, controlled movements or appears clumsier than their peers, bring them to the BAC and let us teach you both how to safely, effectively and efficiently perform everyday movements!


Mentz, S., Hatten, K., Grant-Beuttler, M. (july 2013). Strength training for a child with suspected developmental coordination disorder. 25(2), 214-223.

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