General strategies and provision:
- Develop the child or young person’s core stability e.g. wobble cushion, exercises and games.
- Ensure correct seating position with appropriately sized table and chairs.
- Provide support for letter formation e.g. using a multi-sensory handwriting scheme, pencil grips, sloping boards etc.
- Provide physical activities to support development of gross motor skills e.g. throwing, catching, hopping etc.
- Develop fine motor skills e.g. hand and arm exercises, specialist scissors, pegboard, threading, play dough, pincher grips activities e.g. pegs onto washing line.
- Provide sequencing and organisational skills e.g. first / next boards, writing frames, visual timetables.
- Breaking tasks and instructions down into small steps.
- Regular exercise should also be encouraged.
In addition to the general strategies highlighted above, a child or young person may also need:
- A programme to develop specific skills, combined with extra help at school.
- additional time for pre-learning and consolidation.
- access to a keyboard.
- additional time or adult support for dressing, undressing.
- access to enhanced motor planning activities e.g Jump Ahead programme.
- A task-oriented learning approach.
- Task adaptation to make them easier to do. For example, adding special grips to pens to make them easier to hold, or wearing shoes with Velcro fasteners rather than shoelaces to make dressing easier.
- Additional adult support, working with the child to identify specific activities that cause difficulties, and finding ways to overcome them.
- Additional support for speech and language difficulties such as dyslexia or social communication difficulties.
- Jump Ahead is an example of a fine motor skills intervention.
- ‘Write From the Start’: an approach to guide children through the various stages of perceptual and fine-motor development to lay the foundations for flowing, accurate handwriting.
- ‘Speed Up – A Kinaesthetic Programme to Develop Fluent Handwriting’: consists of a programme designed specifically for children aged 8 -13, whose handwriting is slow, illegible or lacking fluency
If a child or young person has a diagnosis of DCD, or presents with the characteristics outlined above which resulting in reduced participation in school, then the child may benefit from a referral to the Child Development Centre to see an occupational therapist or physiotherapists.
An occupational therapist can assess their abilities in daily activities such as:
- using cutlery
- using the toilet
- classroom tasks such as writing, using scissors, or participation in practical subjects.
The physiotherapist can assess their gross motor skills and advise on areas such as:
- Participation in Physical activities such as P.E and Playground activities
- Ability to negotiate the school environment.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN COLLATED FROM PROFESSIONALS WORKING WITHIN WEST SUSSEX. WHILST THESE RESOURCES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS USEFUL TO THOSE USING THEM, THE INFORMATION BELOW SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS A ‘PREFERRED’ OR EXHAUSTIVE LIST.
Last updated 10 September 2020