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Masters in Educational Practice: Child and adolescent development 0-19


Motor development



This topic has introduced you to some of the key motor developmental milestones, and discussed some of the issues relating to the delay or disorder of attaining motor skills. Contrary to the widely accepted belief that children with DCD will outgrow their problems, studies have demonstrated that children may acquire certain skills with extra practice but new motor skills may still be problematic. Children with DCD require early intervention to help them learn strategies to compensate for their coordination difficulties, to feel better about themselves as individuals, and to prevent other secondary issues from developing.


Kirby, A., Dyspraxia: Developmental Co-ordination Disorder. ISBN: 978-0285635128

Hulme and Snowling, Developmental Disorders of Language Learning and Cognition. ISBN: 978-0631206125

Morton, Understanding Developmental Disorders: A causal modelling approach (cognitive development). ISBN: 13: 978-0631187585


Hill, E. L., & Bishop, D. V. M. (1998). A Reaching Test Reveals Weak Hand Preference in Specific Language Impairment and Developmental Coordination Disorder, Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition. Vol. 3(4), pages 295–310

Powell, R. P., and Bishop, D. V. M. (1992). Clumsiness and perceptual problems in children with specific language impairment. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, Vol. 34(9), 755–765

Gillberg, C. (1998). Hyperactivity, inattention and motor control problems: Prevalence, comorbidity and background factors. Folia Phoniatricaet Legopaedica, 50, 107–117

Fombonne, E., Simmons, H., Ford, T., Meltzer, H., & Goodman, R. (2001). Prevalence of Pervasive Developmental Disorders in the British Nationwide Survey of Child Mental Health. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Vol. 40(7), 820–827

Web links

Premature children and motor development

Estyn report: Physical education in secondary schools – February 2012

More resources

Box of Ideas  – website with strategies for school and home to encourage motor skills

CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research


American Psychiatric Association. (1994). DSM-IV diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Einspieler, C., & Prechtl, H. F. R. (2011). In Prayer D. (Ed.), Fetal movements, though they may be spontaneous, yet there is method in them Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi: 10.1007/174_2010_18.

Genna, M., & Accardo, A. (2012). In Jobbágy Á. (Ed.), Gender and age influence in handwriting performance in children and adolescents Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-23508-5_38.

Kirby, A., & Sugden, S. A. (2007). Children with developmental coordination disorders. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 100, 182–186.

Kirby, A., Sugden, D., Beveridge, S., & Edwards, L. (2008). Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) in adolescents and adults in further and higher education. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 8(3), 120–131. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-3802.2008.00111.x

Kirby, A. (2011). Developmental co-ordination disorder and emerging adulthood: Not just a motor disorder Springer Netherlands. doi: 10.1007/s10804-011-9124-0

Wright H. C., & Sugden D. A. (1996). A two-step procedure for the identification of children with developmental co-ordination disorder in Singapore. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 38, 1099–105.

Webb, E. (Winter 1993). Geralis, E. & ritter T. (eds.). (1991). Children with cerebral palsy: A parent's guide. : Rockville, MD: Woodbine house. Journal of Early Intervention, 17(1), 82–83. doi: 10.1177/105381519301700111

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