Suggested Readings for Developmental Coordination Disorder

This is an annotated bibliography of selected books on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) that may be suitable for different audiences and purposes. It is important to note that the term dyspraxia is commonly used in the United Kingdom instead of DCD. Most often these terms are synonymous but, occasionally, authors are describing slightly different groups of children when they use this label.

Books for parents and teachers 

100 Ideas for Supporting Pupils with Dyspraxia and DCD

Amanda Kirby and Lynne Peters. (2007). Continuum International Publishing Group: New York. 

This book, written by a physician and classroom advisor, is very practical and is one in a series of books for children with autism, dyslexia and ADHD. There are indeed 100 ideas, each one page in length giving specific suggestions for managing daily activities and for skill development. There are three sections organized chronologically: preschool, primary and secondary school. Topics include self-care skills such as dressing, toileting and eating; school tasks such as using scissors, physical education class and homework; social/emotional issues such as working in a group, coping with change, making friends and many suggestions regarding organization. The book provides an excellent quick reference for ideas in handling many of the daily challenges faced by parents, teachers and the child with DCD. 

Developmental Coordination Disorder: Hints and tips for the activities of daily living. 

Morven Ball. (2002). Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London. 

This brief book, written by an occupational therapist, provides very specific and helpful suggestions for activities to develop skills in daily living and promote motor development. Accommodations are also included. The areas covered include: posture, handwriting, scissor skills, reading, feeding, personal care, dressing, attention, organization and learning new tasks. The activity suggestions for motor development are helpful for teachers in preparing physical education curricula for children with DCD. 

Developmental dyspraxia: Identification and intervention. A manual for parents and professionals.

Madeleine Portwood. (1999). David Fulton Publishers: London.

This book, written by an educational psychologist, combines research and practical information. The first few sections describe the process of typical neurological development in utero and in infancy and propose hypotheses around the etiology of dyspraxia. The second section focuses on identification and diagnosis of dyspraxia at different developmental ages and provides some very thorough checklists of the types of behaviors that might be seen in the child with dyspraxia. The second half of the book is devoted to detailed descriptions of intervention activities that can be used at different ages with children who have dyspraxia. There is also a chapter on dyspraxia in adults. This text would be most useful for therapists and educators who work with children experiencing developmental difficulties.

Dyspraxia 5-11.

Christine Macintyre. (2001). David Fulton Publishers: London.

This comprehensive book, written by an educator, explains dyspraxia and provides detailed information about its impact on the child’s daily activities. The author puts the motor difficulties into developmental perspective and devotes portions of the book to other areas of development including emotional, intellectual and social development. It has a very positive and hopeful tone and reflects the experiences of the child and family throughout. The latter part of the book includes practical suggestions for home and school activities. 

Dyspraxia: A guide for teachers and parents.

Kate Ripley, Bob Daines, & Jenny Barrett. (1997). David Fulton Publishers: London.

This book, co-authored by an educational psychologist, a speech language pathologist and an educator, contains fairly generic information about motor development and dyspraxia. The language and terminology are specific to the medical and educational system in the United Kingdom. There are some good ideas around different areas of motor development and activities to promote that development in physical play, handwriting, scissor skills, dressing and eating. There is also a section on speech and language development. The final section includes some ideas around school accommodations. 

Dyspraxia: The hidden handicap.

Amanda Kirby. (1999). Souvenir Press: London.

This book, written by a physician, covers a wide spectrum of information about DCD including diagnosis, impact on the family, and theories about causation. The bulk of the book identifies the types of difficulties children experience and then specific suggestions about what can be done to help. It covers the age span from preschool to adulthood and includes a strong focus on the emotional and social aspects of DCD. It is the most comprehensive of the books written for parents and teachers of the books reviewed. 

Helping children with dyspraxia.

Maureen Boon. (2001). Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London.

This brief book, written by a special educator, provides a good overview of dyspraxia including what it is, how it is identified and assessed, and some good practical suggestions for home and school. It is written for a British audience, so it contains information specific to their health and educational systems. It is, however, easy to read, accessible and well suited for parents and teachers wanting to understand the basics of dyspraxia. 

How to help a clumsy child: Strategies for young children with developmental motor concerns.

Lisa A. Kurtz. (2003). Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London.

This book, written by an occupational therapist, includes a good overview of typical motor development and how and when to seek professional help for a child with motor concerns. The principles for intervention provide a good grounding for any practitioner and then the author presents specific suggestions for promoting motor skills, and addressing daily living challenges at home and in school. The book concludes with a brief chapter on the social impact of DCD. The author is American, so some of the material is specific to the US system; however, for the most part it is quite generic. This book is helpful for parents in particular, but would also be useful for students and practitioners new to the area of DCD. 

Inclusion for children with dyspraxia/DCD: A handbook for teachers.

Kate Ripley. (2001). David Fulton Publishers: London.

This book, written by an educational psychologist, provides a brief background on dyspraxia/DCD and some of the neurological functions underlying the disorder. The roles of different members of the team in assessment are described and a more detailed section outlines the role of the teacher in assessment. One chapter is devoted to the social and emotional implications of dyspraxia/DCD. The remainder of the book provides specific suggestions for ways to assist children at school across the elementary and secondary grades. Case studies appear throughout the book and help to illustrate the information provided. 

The Source for Developmental Coordination Disorder

Paulene Kamps. (2005). Linguisystems: East Moline, IL.

The author brings a background in education, psychology and kinesiology to this book and provides a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of motor development and DCD. The writing style is very accessible and the stories related by parents will likely resonate with many readers. The book includes chapters on typical motor skill development, motor difficulties, a discussion of different conditions that can cause motor problems, practical strategies for helping children with DCD to be more successful and an extensive reference list. A CD is included with two motor skills checklists that can be printed for use with parents and teachers aimed at preschool and school-aged children. This book is a good resource for parents, teachers and health professionals alike. 

Books for Clinicians and Researchers

Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: Strategies for success. 

Cheryl Missiuna (Ed.). (2001). Haworth Press: New York. 

This book, edited by an occupational therapist, incorporates eight peer-reviewed research papers that provide information about identification, diagnosis and co-occurring problems in children with DCD. The second section focuses on treatment of children with DCD, reviewing the evidence about different treatment approaches and presenting a more recently developed approach based on a cognitive strategy model. This book is useful for researchers and clinicians who work with children with DCD. 

Developmental Coordination Disorder. 

Sharon Cermak & Dawne Larkin. (2002). Delmar: Albany, New York. 

This is a very comprehensive textbook, edited by an occupational therapist and a movement specialist, with contributions from many of the leading international researchers in the field. It includes an overview of DCD, information about long term outcomes, subtypes and co-morbid conditions, assessment, functional implications and interventions. The book is geared to researchers and clinicians, and contains the most recent research on DCD. This text does not include many practical suggestions that would be of more use for teachers and parents of children with DCD. 

Guide to Dyspraxia and Developmental Coordination Disorders Amanda Kirby and Sharon Drew. (2003). 

David Fulton Publishers: London. 

This book written by a physician and an occupational therapist, is another in a very helpful series of publications from the Dyscovery Centre in Wales. The text is targeted for health professional and teachers. The first few chapters provide an overview of DCD, definitions, diagnosis, etiology, typical child development and the relationship of DCD with other learning and developmental challenges. One chapter is devoted to assessment and then subsequent chapters discuss the impact of DCD on children, adolescents and adults. Specific chapters discuss related issues in language, communication, behaviour and psychosocial issues. The final chapter reviews different intervention approaches and reviews the available evidence. This text would be very helpful for students and health professionals new to this field. It provides an excellent grounding to then allow the reader to access the peer-reviewed literature for current research evidence.

Books for Children

Stephen Harris in trouble: A dyspraxic drama in several clumsy acts. 

Tim Nichol. (2003). Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London. 

This delightful book is written by a special education advisor and follows the daily struggles of Stephen Harris, a charming 11 year old boy with dyspraxia. The story is written in a lighthearted way and is funny and engaging. Though Stephen has many difficulties getting through his daily activities, and experiences social rejection and bullying, he encounters people who believe in him and who, ultimately, make a positive difference. A great read for children with DCD and their families.

Most of these books are available through Parentbooks in Toronto. They can be reached at (416) 537-8334 or Toll Free 1-800-209-9182 or at