Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DCD and Mental Health Issues

A prospective study analyzing 346 children with probable developmental coordination disorder will be published in Pediatrics.  Overall mental health was measured by using the child-reported Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire and the parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The children who had probable DCD exhibited increased odds of self-reported depression and parent-reported mental health difficulties. When accounting for verbal IQ, social communication, bullying, and self-esteem, the odds of mental health difficulties significantly decreased. The researchers concluded that the mental health difficulties in the children with probably DCD were due to associated developmental difficulties, low verbal IQ, poor self-esteem, and bullying. The researchers recommend that mental health issues should be prevented and treated in children with DCD.

 The children in this study were not officially diagnosed with DCD. In my experience, many of the children with DCD that I have worked with exhibited low self esteem, were teased and some had anxiety. I actually found the opposite to be true for verbal IQ - many of the children had a high verbal IQ. What has been your experience with children who have DCD and mental health issues?

Reference: Raghu Lingam, Marian J. Jongmans, Matthew Ellis, Linda P. Hunt, Jean Golding, and Alan Emond. Mental Health Difficulties in Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder. Pediatrics peds.2011-1556; published ahead of print March 26, 2012, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-1556

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