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Unlocking the Potential: How SLPs Can Help Identify Developmental Coordination Disorder in Preschoolers

Unlocking the Potential: How SLPs Can Help Identify Developmental Coordination Disorder in Preschoolers

As a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), you play a crucial role in the early identification of developmental challenges in children. One such challenge is Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), which often goes unnoticed until it significantly impacts a child's academic and social life. According to the research article "Recognizing and Referring Children at Risk for Developmental Coordination Disorder: Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist," SLPs are in a unique position to help identify children at risk for DCD early on.

So, how can you, as an SLP, improve your skills to better recognize and refer children who might be at risk for DCD? Here are some key takeaways from the research:

Understanding DCD

DCD affects a child's ability to perform age-appropriate motor tasks, such as using scissors, tying shoelaces, or even maintaining posture. While it is estimated that 5-6% of children have DCD, the prevalence is higher among children with speech and language delays.

Key Observations

When working with preschool children, there are several motor skills and behaviors to observe that could indicate a risk for DCD:

SLP Helping Behaviors

SLPs often engage in certain behaviors that can assist in identifying children at risk for DCD:

Practical Steps

Here are some practical steps you can take to improve early identification of DCD:

By incorporating these observations and behaviors into your practice, you can play a significant role in the early identification and referral of children at risk for DCD. Early intervention can lead to better academic and social outcomes for these children.

To read the original research paper, please follow this link: Recognizing and Referring Children at Risk for Developmental Coordination Disorder: Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist.

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