Although children presenting with the symptoms of DCD have long been recognised, formal diagnosis has only become prevalent recently – compared to some other conditions such as dyslexia – as awareness of it grows. This may be partly because movement difficulties were not previously recognised in themselves as needing attention.
For a long time it was assumed that children would “grow out of” their movement difficulties. But we now have evidence that in many children the motor difficulties persist into adulthood and are commonly associated with a range of socio-emotional problems later on.
Research into adults with DCD is still in its early stages. This means that many adults with DCD may still be undiagnosed, or have spent their childhood wondering what was “wrong” with them, before being diagnosed relatively late in life.
But academic research is increasing – and there is more information out there for employers, as well as family and friends, to support those with DCD. The next step for researchers is to look at doing a long-term study, following the lives of specific participants with DCD. Only then can we really begin to understand the condition.