Author(s): Peters JM, Barnett AL, Henderson SE
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Abstract At the turn of the century, the idea that there might be a discrete childhood syndrome, which had 'clumsiness' of movement as its defining symptom, began to emerge. Since then numerous labels have been applied to the syndrome. In spite of recent attempts to standardise the terminology used, variation continues to compromise inter-professional communication and interpretation of research. The aim of this study was to determine how the three terms 'Clumsy', 'Dyspraxia' and 'Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD)' are viewed by health and educational professionals in the UK. Two hundred and thirty-four adults (57\% from the health professions and 43\% from education) provided a written definition of each term. Content analysis of the 702 definitions was used to determine: (1) the extent to which the terms were familiar/acceptable to the respondents; and (2) to capture differences in the meaning of the term being defined. The results indicated that the terms 'DCD' and 'Dyspraxia' were less familiar than the term 'clumsy' which was, however, least acceptable. Amongst those professionals who were familiar with all three terms, there was general agreement that all were used to describe some sort of overall movement difficulty. Beyond that point, divergence of understanding and inter-professional differences in emphasis emerged. The implications of these differences for clinical and educational practice, research and policy making are discussed.
This article was published in Child Care Health Dev
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation