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Developmental Coordination Disorder

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Motor skills involve the movement of muscles that allow smooth and efficient actions. Mild motor problems are common in premature children but there are a number of things you can do to help optimise development in this area.

Preterm Children: Minor Motor Impairment

Difficulties with motor skills, without a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) are common in preterm children. Motor difficulties reported within the preterm literature are sometimes referred to as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) or Minor Motor Impairment (MMI).

Incidence

How motor impairments are defined varies, so the rates of minor motor problems in preterm children has ranged from approximately 10% to up to 50% of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) children.

The rate of minor motor impairments in children born at term is between 5% and 9%.

Why do preterm children have minor motor problems?

Why preterm children are more vulnerable to motor problems is not precisely known but it thought that a number of risk factors might increase the likelihood of such difficulties. The degree to which perinatal risk factors, such as gestational age, birth weight, respiratory problems, and brain pathology affect motor skills is not yet well understood.

 


Technical Reference List

Bracewell, M., & Marlow, N. (2002). Patterns of motor disability in very preterm children. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev, 8(4), 241-248.
Davis, N. M., Ford, G. W., Anderson, P. J., & Doyle, L. W. (2007). Developmental coordination disorder at 8 years of age in a regional cohort of extremely-low-birthweight or very preterm infants. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 49(5), 325-330.
Holsti, L., Grunau, R. E., & Whitfield, M. F. (2002). Developmental coordination disorder in extremely low birth weight children at nine years. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 23(1), 9-15.
Jongmans, M. J., Mercuri, E., Dubowitz, L. M. S., & Henderson, S. E. (1998). Perceptual-motor difficulties and their concomitants in six-year-old children born prematurely. Human Movement Science, 17(4-5), 629-653.

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More information about preterm birth can be found in For Parents section

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AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 


Read More: Defining Preterm birth


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