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Research Article  |   July 1995
Developmental Dyspraxia by Any Other Name: Are They All Just Clumsy Children?
Author Affiliations
  • Cheryl Missiuna, PhD, OT(C), is Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, McMaster University, OT/PT Building, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1 and an Associate Member of the Neurodevelopmental Clinical Research unit
  • Helene Polatajko, PhD, OT(C), is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Research
Research Article   |   July 1995
Developmental Dyspraxia by Any Other Name: Are They All Just Clumsy Children?
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1995, Vol. 49, 619-627. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.7.619
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 1995, Vol. 49, 619-627. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.7.619
Abstract

The recent introduction of the diagnostic category developmental coordination disorder (DCD) (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1987, 1994), has generated confusion among researchers and clinicians in many fields, including occupational therapy. Although the diagnostic criteria appear to be similar to those used to define clumsy children, children with developmental dyspraxia, or children with sensory integrative dysfunction, we are left with the question: Are children who receive the diagnosis of DCD the same as those who receive the other diagnoses, a subgroup, or an entirely distinct group of children? This article will examine the theoretical and empirical literature and use the results to support the thesis that these terms are not interchangeable and yet are not being used in the literature in a way that clearly defines each subgroup of children. Clear definitions and characteristic features need to be identified and associated with each term to guide occupational therapy assessment and clinical research.