Unifying Concepts

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is often characterized as a skill acquisition deficit disorder.

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Developmental Coordination Disorder

A. The acquisition and execution of coordinated motor skills is substantially below that expected given the individual’s chronological age and opportunity for skill learning and use. Difficulties are manifested as clumsiness (e.g., dropping or bumping into objects) as well as slowness and inaccuracy of performance of motor skills (e.g., catching an object, using scissors or cutlery, handwriting, riding a bike, or participating in sports).

B. The motor skills deficit in Criterion A significantly and persistently interferes with activities of daily living appropriate to chronological age (e.g., self-care and self-maintenance) and impacts academic/school productivity, prevocational and vocational activities, leisure, and play.

C. Onset of symptoms is in the early developmental period.

D. The motor skills deficits are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or visual impairment and are not attributable to a neurological condition affecting movement (e.g., cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, degenerative disorder).



  1. Harris SR, Mickelson ECR, Zwicker JG. Diagnosis and management of developmental coordination disorder. CMAJ. 2015;187(9):659-665. [Medline]
  2. Farmer M, Echenne B, Drouin R, Bentourkia M. Insights in Developmental Coordination Disorder. Curr Pediatr Rev. 2017;13(2):111-119. [Medline]
  3. Smits-Engelsman BC, Jelsma LD, Ferguson GD, Geuze RH. Motor Learning: An Analysis of 100 Trials of a Ski Slalom Game in Children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder. PLoS One. 2015;10(10):e0140470. Published 2015 Oct 14. [Medline]


Created Jun 25, 2020.

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