People with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) – also known as dyspraxia – have a “hidden disability”. This neurodevelopmental condition has recently been portrayed by Tosin Cole as Ryan, a time-travelling companion on Doctor Who. It’s a condition that affects coordination and movement. But, because it is often mistaken as “clumsiness”, its significant impact on everyday tasks often goes unrecognised by others.
People with DCD have difficulty learning and executing motor skills without considerable practice. This affects their ability to carry out a range of daily activities effectively and efficiently – taking down notes quickly and coherently, for example, or riding a bike. These problems exist in the absence of neurological damage, intellectual delay or visual impairment that might otherwise explain the motor difficulties.
Even though it is a lifelong condition much of the research has focused on how it presents in childhood. What hasn’t been clear until now is how having unsafe mobility changes the lives of adults with DCD day to day. So, for our recent qualitative study we decided to capture the experiences of six adults diagnosed with DCD.