What Is Specific Developmental Disorder Of Motor Function

An essential feature of the disorder is a serious violation of motor coordination, which can not be explained by general intellectual retardation or any congenital or acquired neurological disorder, dysplasia development. The diagnosis is made, if the violation significantly affects the ability to study or daily life. It is characterized by the presence of motor clumsiness with some disorders of cognitive visual-spatial tasks.


The frequency of this disorder is in children aged 5 to 11 years at 6%. Value incidence of boys and girls is unknown, but as with most developmental disorders, ir affects more boys than girls. Data on the large percentage of cases among relatives were not available.

What Causes Specific developmental disorder of motor function

Possible etiologic factors are divided into two groups: factors of development and organic factors. Hypothesis involves the development of the cause of this disorder in undeveloped or delayed development of perceptual-motor skills. According to this theory, is possible good prognosis for this disorder, as occurs maturation interested in the pathological process of brain structures.

Accordingly, the organic theory of minimal brain strokes or dysfunctions create a predisposition to disorders of motor function. These disorders are the result of prenatal and perinatal complications (toxemia of pregnancy in the mother, fetal hypoxia, low birth weight, intrauterine events, which can cause brain injury or physical injury of the fetus or newborn). Sometimes clumsy child syndrome is diagnosed as minimal brain dysfunction, but now the term is not recommended, as it has many different and sometimes conflicting values.

Symptoms of specific developmental disorder of motor function

In infancy and early childhood disorder is manifested as a delay in achieving normal developmental stages (ex. turning, crawling, sitting, standing, walking). The difficulties of coordination are not due defects in vision, hearing, neurological disorders. At the age of 2-4 years unease is reflected in all activities requiring motor coordination. These children are clumsy in their movements, slowly learn to run, jump, climb and descend the stairs, do not hold items in hand, easy drop them. Their gait is unstable, they often stumble and hit the barriers. Likely are difficulties in tying shoelaces, catching the ball, undoing and doing up buttons. Degree of impairment varies from violations of the “fine motor” (bad handwriting) to gross motor discoordination. May be experienced blurred speech disorders, which are largely associated in nature (often involving subtle articulation).

It is characterized by poor drawing skills, children do not perform tasks with composite images, designers, building models, not oriented to table games, card recognition – is typical to children with subcortical dysfunction, immaturity of the right hemisphere of the brain and / or impaired formation of interhemispheric relations.

At older ages, there are often secondary disorders (poor school performance, in violation of emotions and behavior, a tendency to low self-esteem, withdrawal). In general, motor clumsiness persists into adolescence and throughout adulthood.

Diagnosis of specific disorders of motor function

The diagnosis is made when the following criteria are present:

1. The success of the coordinated action of motor significantly is below the expected level corresponding to the chronological age and intellectual abilities.
2. Movement disorders significantly affect the progress in training and in everyday life.
3. The disorder is not associated with physical illness (cerebral palsy, hemiplegia, muscular dystrophy).
Differential diagnosis

Mental retardation is characterized by a general lowering of performance of all activities in both verbal and nonverbal field, is necessary to exclude the general developmental disorders, especially combined with motor disorders in the area.

Neurological and neuromuscular disorders (cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, hemiplegia) are accompanied by the presence of neurological signs.

Treatment of specific developmental disorder of motor function

It includes a combination of pharmacological, neurophysiological, neuropsychological methods for correction of motor dysfunction and modified techniques of perceptual motor learning and physical education. For the majority of preschool children it is useful the method Montessori, contributing to the development of motor skills. Secondary behavioral or emotional problems related to speech disorders require adequate medical and psychotherapeutic treatment. Family-counseling therapy is recommended to reduce the anxiety and guilt in parents.

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Posted in Mental Disorders
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