Teachers' perceptions of children with DCD
Classroom teachers often identify children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and the identification process relies heavily on teachers' perceptions. Timely and effective identification of children with DCD relies on a better understanding of teachers' perceptions of children with motor difficulties, especially with regard to the influence of child gender, child behaviour and the type of motor problem.
One hundred and forty-seven teachers of elementary school children participated in this study, rating their concern and importance of intervening for children with motor difficulties described in hypothetical case scenarios with varying gender, behaviour and motor problems.
This study suggests that child gender influences teachers' perceptions of children's motor coordination difficulties, depending on the particular type of motor problem. In addition, teachers seemed to only notice motor problems in the absence of any behavioural difficulties.
This study has implications for the classroom identification of children with DCD. Teachers have a critical role to play in the identification and management of children with motor coordination difficulties. Through classroom observations and communication of concerns regarding both motor and behavioural problems, teachers can ensure that the needs of children with DCD are recognized and addressed.
Rivard, L.M., Missiuna, C., Hanna, S. and Wishart, L. (2007). Understanding teachers' perceptions of the motor difficulties of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(3), 633-648.