Developmental Coordination Disorder

What might be some challenges in the dance class?

  • Younger children with DCD may find it more challenging learning and performing dance movements.
  • As children with DCD get older, they often become more aware of their motor challenges, and can lose confidence in their movement abilities. They may withdraw and stop learning to dance.

Give children a chance to do well

  • Simplify dance steps and movement routines: Some children may need to spend time doing ‘simpler’ movement. This will give them a chance to improve their skills and do well – with success comes confidence and enjoyment.
  • Give more time: Slowing movements down and simplifying instructions can be a useful way of helping kids succeed.
  • Give more practice: Children with DCD can achieve skills similar to other children if they are given more practice. They may take longer to get there, but repetition of the same action can help them improve their movements so that they don’t feel like they’re getting left behind.

Work with a buddy or pair

  • Children can work in pairs to help each other to remember the dance moves.  Working with a buddy may also help kids feel that they fit in.

Allow students to contribute to the choreography

  • Let the students contribute their own movements into the dance routine. This may help them to engage them in class activities.

Modify and adapt

  • If a child finds coordination difficult, focus the action on one body part at a time. For example, show a movement just using the legs or arms.

Keep kids active and included

  • If a child with DCD loses confidence in their dance skills, they often lose confidence in other areas and can find it difficult to make friends. If you notice that a child with DCD is withdrawing and doesn’t want to dance, consider alternative roles that will keep them involved and active.

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