The prevalence of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) in children, at 7 years of age, in a large UK birth cohort was determined using DSM-IV criteria, in a study at the University of Bristol, UK; and Utrecht University, Netherlands. Children with neurologic disorders or IQ of <70 were excluded. By using tests that measured manual dexterity, ball skills, balance, handwriting skills and activities of daily living, 119 of 6990 children met criteria for DCD, with a prevalence of 1.7%, 17/1000 at a mean age of 7.5 years. The gender ratio was 1.8:1 male to female. When an additional 222 children with “probable DCD” were included, the risk of DCD was 4.9%. The risk of DCD was greater in children of lower socioeconomic backgrounds, birth weight <2500 g, and born at <37 weeks’ gestation. DCD is an important often overlooked cause of disability in school age children. [1]

COMMENT. A similar study using different measures of coordination was conducted in apparently normal schoolchildren born extremely preterm (<29 weeks or birth weight <1000 g) at Westmead Hospital, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia [2]. At age 8 years, the prevalence of DCD was 42% in this high-risk population compared with 8% for matched classroom full-term controls. Motor assessment at 3 years of age using Peabody Fine Motor Scales is highly predictive of subsequent DCD at school age. Early identification of DCD allows early intervention to prevent school problems and loss of self-esteem. Differences in the prevalence rates of DCD in various reports could be explained by different methods of measurement. The incidence of ADHD, commonly complicated by DCD, in these cohorts would be of interest.