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Physical Activity Promotion in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder Through New Methods of Assessment and Integration: A Review of Literature

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Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a movement skill disorder involving delays in motor milestones resulting in functional deficiencies, and is considered to be an un-recognized motor disability that affects roughly 5 to 6 percent of school aged children (Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 2010). Over the years, researchers have sought to find significant correlations between various physical activities and their effect on children with developmental coordination disorder. As a result of these major studies conducted throughout the years, it is evident that reinforcing positive physical health in children with DCD has proved to be very important. Physical activity awareness in children with DCD has become more apparent throughout the years with the use of new methods of assessment, through increased focus on overall fitness and participation, specified integration, and program adaptation. In 2000, a study was conducted on the participation levels of 110 children, where 55 of the children were allocated to a DCD group, and the other half were assigned to a control group based on their previous motor skill test scores (Smyth & Anderson, 2000). Playground activity was examined in five periods, where a significant amount of children with DCD spent most of their time alone in contrast to the control group (Smyth et al., 2000). Some of the various reasons to support the researcher's results included cultural and educational aspects, shyness, and most importantly that children did not have the appropriate movement skills to participate in the selected activities (Smyth et al., 2000). As a result, low motor function development was attributed to several other psychological issues including decreased concentration, reduced social competence, and, self-esteem and behavioural issues (Smyth et al., 2000). In regards to several studies conducted in the 1990's, Smyth was able to expand further on the notion that playground activity was not solely due to the fact that children were less physically active. Engaging in positive social interaction is a key factor pertaining to low participation levels among children with DCD. Some of the various components of physical fitness that many researchers examined are body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility. To test these categories, different settings and approaches were used to achieve varied results.

In 1994, a cross-sectional study was conducted to test the body composition of 48 boys who had below average coordination, and normal coordination (O'beirne, Larkin, & Cable, 1994). The methods used in the study were the Wingate Anaerobic test, and the 50 meter sprint test (O'beirne et al., 1994). The Wingate Anaerobic test generally entails using a cycle ergometer for 30 seconds to test the subject's peak anaerobic power based on his/her weight (McArdle & Katch, 2010). As a result, the group with low coordination



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